No, we don’t mean the unwanted back-yard-kind of gifts. A disease is a gift we would not want to receive from our pets. When we have pets in our household, we need to be aware of diseases that can be passed between animals and humans, called zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases can be transmitted through the air, orally, direct contact, by insects or contaminated objects.
People who have close contact with animals, whether it is pet owners, livestock producers, or animal health providers, can be at increased risk for zoonotic diseases. Additionally, individuals with weakened immune systems, such as children, the elderly or pregnant women, can also be at increased risk.
Sandboxes and Disease Exposure
Download Sandboxes for Parents – learn how to help lower your children’s risk!
Children love playing in a sandbox. Generally, we do not think about the serious disease risks associated with sandboxes. With proper design, care and supervision we can really reduce the risk of disease exposure for our children, and allow the play to be an enjoyable and safe activity.
Hand Washing and Hygiene
Do NOT let children:
– Put their hands or other objects (e.g., pacifiers) into their mouths when they are around animals or animal areas
– Play roughly with pets — to avoid bites and scratches
– Kiss pets or allow pets to lick the children’s face
Personal Protection While Outdoors