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Practice caution when visiting petting zoos

On a recent episode of “America Now” with Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic, a warning was given about visiting petting zoos.

Kids enjoying the animals at a petting zoo
Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Kids love petting zoos, but parents should be aware that a visit to adorable farm animals could turn out to be a trip to the hospital. To keep a furry encounter infection free, precautions should be taken to make sure you do not take home more than cute pictures. Dr. Susan Rehm of the Cleveland Clinic advises that some infections can include E-coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shigella.

Dr. Rehm advises that the elderly, pregnant women and young children should show extra caution, but there are steps everyone can take to avoid getting sick. Avoid eating or smoking, do not allow children to have bottles or pacifiers while visiting petting zoos, as anything that can become contaminated can be transferred through the mouth. Petting is alright, but children should be told not to kiss the animals or let them lick their face, and avoid an animal’s wet nose. Everyone should use a hand sanitizer after being in contact with the animals. Do not let a day of enjoyment and getting to see animals not seen each day, be spoiled by illness when just a bit of caution can avoid these repercussions.

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