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Health Tip: Visiting Petting Zoos

Be sure to follow these precautions

(HealthDay News) -- Petting zoos allow children of all ages to come face to face with animals such as cows, goats and sheep. Unfortunately, these animals sometimes can harbor nasty germs that can be passed to people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges petting zoo visitors to take these precautions:

  • Always wash your hands after petting animals or touching the animal enclosure, especially before eating and drinking. Running water and soap are best. Use hand gels if running water and soap are not available.
  • Keep food and drinks out of animal areas. Do not share your food with animals.
  • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Children younger than 5 years old need supervision, especially when washing hands. Never allow children to put their hands or objects (i.e., pacifiers) in their mouth while interacting with animals.
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