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How can I keep my child away from germs at the petting zoo?

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Taking your toddler to a petting zoo or an animal exhibit can be fun and educational. When you go:

  • Find the hand washing stations as soon as you get there. And make use the sanitizer dispensers often.
  • Don't take food or drink in with the animals. Leave strollers, pacifiers, and cups outside, too.
  • Don't let an animal lick your child.
  • Wash your toddler's hands when you leave, even if he didn't pet an animal.
  • Don't try samples of raw, unpasteurized milk.

SOURCES:

CDC:  "Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits This Summer," "Picking the Right Pet."

HealthyChildren.org: "Cats and Toxoplasmosis," "Pets and Pasteurella Infections," "Salmonella Contamination in Dry Dog and Cat Foods," "Prevent Bite Wounds."

Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatrics and health research and policy, chief of pediatric infectious diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Aaron Glatt, MD, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Mercy Medical Center; spokesperson, Infectious Diseases Society of America.

University of Arizona: "Germ Survey: Summary of Findings."

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: "Cleaning Dog Toys with Bleach."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on April 17, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC:  "Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits This Summer," "Picking the Right Pet."

HealthyChildren.org: "Cats and Toxoplasmosis," "Pets and Pasteurella Infections," "Salmonella Contamination in Dry Dog and Cat Foods," "Prevent Bite Wounds."

Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatrics and health research and policy, chief of pediatric infectious diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine.

Aaron Glatt, MD, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Mercy Medical Center; spokesperson, Infectious Diseases Society of America.

University of Arizona: "Germ Survey: Summary of Findings."

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: "Cleaning Dog Toys with Bleach."

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli on April 17, 2018

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