Shoes: The bottoms of shoes can have animal waste on them after being in an animal exhibit. Check shoes to see if they need to be cleaned before they bring animal waste into vehicles and buildings. Be sure to wash hands after removing and/or cleaning shoes.
Surfaces: Clean and sanitize all the surfaces touched by an animal or by people who touched the animal during animal visits.
Eating: Children and teachers/caregivers should not eat in animal areas. They should not share their food with the animals either. Some petting zoos will provide food for their visitors to feed the animals. Be sure to review the guidelines for safe feeding of animals with exhibit staff. Remember to wash hands immediately after contact with animals and again before eating a snack or lunch.
Safety: Supervise young children at all times when around animals. Children should not put anything in the animal's mouths - no fingers, toys, or foods. (Exhibit staff can give instructions for feeding the animals. Teachers/caregivers should decide if it is safe.) All strollers, sippy cups, diaper bags, and toys should be left outside of the animal area.
With these precautions you can have great visits!
Contributed by Sarah Macdonald, MD, FAAP - CHOP Network High Point (Photo: Google Images)