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How can I keep my child from getting infections from our cat?

ANSWER

  • Don't feed the cat in your kitchen.
  • Keep your child away from the litter box.
  • If your child is old enough to change the litter box, teach proper habits and ensure good hand washing after they're done.
  • Pick a spot in the house besides the bedroom for the cats to sleep. Most pediatricians suggest that you don't sleep with your cats.
  • Don't let the cat lick your child's face or skin, especially open wounds.
  • Teach your child to wash her hands after petting the cats.

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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