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Having a pet can be a great experience for kids and their families, but sometimes pets can carry harmful germs that make people sick, even if the pet looks healthy. Children – especially those under 5 years old – can be at higher risk for pet-related illnesses because they often touch surfaces that may be contaminated with harmful germs, put objects in their mouths, and are less likely to wash their hands correctly. Children are often the victims of animal bites and scratches, and are more likely to get seriously sick from certain diseases spread from pets.

 

Learn some tips to help kids enjoy pets while staying healthy:Boy playing with dog

  • Pick the right pet – reptiles, amphibians, and backyard poultry aren’t recommended for households with kids under 5 years old.
  • Always supervise young children around pets.
  • Don’t let children kiss pets or put their hands or objects in their mouths after playing with pets.
  • Help kids wash their hands after they interact with or are around any animals.
  • Clean up after your pets regularly.
  • Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly. By keeping your pet healthy, you also help to keep your family healthy.