Pets and other animals
Take the following precautions when choosing, housing, feeding, and cleaning pets.
- Do not choose reptiles of any type (e.g. turtles, lizards, snakes), birds of the parrot family, ferrets, and any wild or dangerous animals. Reptiles carry a type of germ as a normal part of their bodies that can cause serious illness for young children. Parrots also carry illness-causing germs
- Be certain that no child is allergic to the animals he or she may come in contact with.
- Select animals that are friendly and have an appropriate temperament to be around children.
- Make sure animals are healthy and appropriately immunized and licensed.
- Do not allow any animals in areas used for preparing, eating, or storing food.
- If you use cages, use the type that are of an approved type with false bottoms.
- Be sure children and caregivers always wash their hands after handling or feeding animals.
- Separate animal food and cleaning supplies from kitchen and food preparation supplies.
Cleaning & Maintenance
- Clean animal areas frequently. Don’t use the kitchen or other food preparation areas to clean anything involved with a pet. Wash hands afterward.
- To protect young children from germs, it’s best not to let them assist with pet cleaning or maintenance.
- Keep all animal litter boxes out of children’s reach.
- Remember, handwashing must follow any maintenance task to remove germs and chemicals from the skin.
Teach Children Safe Practices
- Teach children how to behave with animals:
- Do not provoke or startle animals
- Do not remove an animal’s food
- Do not approach an animal unless the owner says the animal is friendly
- Do not approach an animal that is not on a leash
- Do not reach through a fence to touch an animal
- Do not allow children to abuse animals.