It is important to remember that animals sometimes carry germs that are harmful to humans.
Information from the Centers for Disease Control
From petting lambs at the county fair to going to the zoo, there are many ways to explore the animal world this spring and summer. Exhibits such as petting zoos and fairs allow children of all ages to have the thrilling experience of coming face to face with animals. This interaction allows people to learn more about animals and helps to build an important human-animal bond.
Unfortunately, many people become sick every year because of a visit to an animal exhibit. It is important to remember that animals sometimes carry germs that are harmful to humans. When people forget to wash their hands after petting an animal or bring food into an area where animals are being housed, they are at risk for becoming ill.
Below are some tips to help you prevent illness when visiting animal exhibits.
If you are visiting an animal exhibit:
- Find out where hand-washing stations are located.
- Always wash your hands after petting animals or touching the animal enclosure, especially before eating and drinking.
- Always wash hands upon exiting animal areas even if you did not touch an animal.
- Running water and soap are best. Use hand gels if running water and soap are not available.
Food and drinks
- Keep food and drinks out of animal areas.
- Food should be prepared, served, and eaten only in areas where animals are not permitted (with the exception of service animals).
- Do not share your food with animals.
- Children younger than 5 years old need supervision
- Never allow children to put their hands or objects (For example: pacifiers) in their mouth while interacting with animals.
- Hand washing should be supervised.
- Do not take or use strollers, bottles, pacifiers, spill-proof cups, or toys in animal areas.