Petting zoo safety | Health
During the summer, family outings often include a trip to the zoo or the county fair. Since these outings expose us to different species of animals some precautions to prevent illness include:
Hand washing is the single most important prevention step for reducing disease transmission after touching animals or animal enclosures.
Stop to eat and drink before going to visit the animals rather than doing so during or after. No food or beverages should be allowed in animal areas.
Children should be closely supervised during contact with animals to discourage contact with animal droppings and soiled bedding. Hand to mouth contact (thumb-sucking, nail biting, etc.) should also be discouraged.
Make sure the animals and petting areas are clean and well kept. If there are a lot of animal droppings in the petting area or the animals are extremely dirty, its best not to visit.
Have children change their clothes after petting the animals. Clothing and shoes can become contaminated when a child leans on a railing or walks through mud.