Health Tip: Preventing Disease From Petting Zoos

Use hand wipes or sanitizers

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(HealthDay News) -- A petting zoo is a fun place for families to learn about animals, but it's important to remember that the zoo's four-legged inhabitants can transmit disease. Here are a few basic safety tips when visiting a petting zoo, courtesy of the University of Minnesota:

Children should wash hands immediately after touching the animals, particularly before eating. Antibacterial hand soaps, gels or wipes can help quash germs passed from animals to children.

The university recommends putting away children's pacifiers and sippy cups, avoiding eating while in the petting zoo area, and leaving strollers outside the petting zoo. Also, watch children around the animals to be sure the youngsters are not bitten or knocked down.

Finally, contact your doctor if your children have symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting shortly after a trip to a petting zoo.

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