Animals can be great for kids. They are educational and fun.
But they can also make kids sick. Take frogs and chickens: what do they have in common? They both carry salmonella.
Salmonella are bacteria that cause diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms usually set in within 12 to 72 hours after infection, and last from 4 to 7 days.
A recent four year study in the journal Pediatrics linked 376 cases of salmonella infections in kids to pet frogs. Thankfully, none of the kids died. But they did get sick- and nearly a third of them had to be hospitalized.
Kids under 5 years old are at greatest risk – because they put their hands in their mouths, and that’s how infection is spread. And that’s why Good hand washing is mandatory after handling any of these creatures.
It’s not just frogs: salmonella is also carried by turtles, lizards, salamanders, and snakes.
To prevent infection, Wash your hands after handling- and closely monitor your children to make sure they wash their hands too.