It’s back-to-school season, and many teachers choose to have
class pets or bring animals into class to help kids learn. But children,
especially children under 5 years of age, are more likely to get sick from
germs animals can sometimes carry. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC)’s Healthy Pets, Healthy People website (affiliated to U.S.
Department of Health & Human Services) has resources for teachers, parents,
and others to use to help keep kids healthy around animals at schools,
daycares, and other settings.
CDC’s One Health Office works in the United States and
around the world to protect the health of humans, animals, and the environment.
Tips to help keep kids safe and healthy while learning
According to a newsletter of CDC –
Reptiles, amphibians, chickens and other poultry (ducks,
turkeys), rodents, and ferrets are not suitable for schools, daycare centers,
or other settings with children under 5 years of age.
Students should wash their hands with water and soap right
after handling animals, their food, or their supplies.
Adults should always supervise children’s contact with
Keep animals, including those used for dissection, away from
areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or eaten.
Thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas where animals have
Consider children who have allergies, asthma, or other
illnesses before bringing animals into the classroom.
Make sure all animals have appropriate and regular
veterinary care, and proof of rabies vaccination for dogs and cats, according
to local or state requirements.
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