Enjoy the Animals (But don't get sick!)

Like humans, animals such as dogs, cats and farm animals may carry germs that can make you sick.
Enjoy the Animals (But don't get sick!) - Articles
Enjoy the Animals (But don't get sick!)

How do you become sick?

When you touch the animals, there might be bad germs on their skin and body that can pass on to your hands. When you touch your mouth with your hands or eat food, the germs can get into your stomach and make you sick.

How do you stop the germs from making you sick?

These are some of the things that you can do:

  • Listen carefully to what your teacher or parents have to say about petting animals.
  • Do not eat food (popcorn, ice-cream, candies, other foods, or drinks) while you are petting the animals. If you do, germs that might be on your hands could get onto your food and be swallowed along with the food.
  • Do not feed the animals food that you have gotten for yourself.
  • Do not kiss the animals; germs might go directly into your mouth and then into your stomach.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after you pet the animals.

What is the most important thing that you can do to keep germs from making you sick?

Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you touch the animals.

How to wash your hands the right way!

  • Wet your hands with warm running water.
  • Add soap, then rub your hands together, making a soapy foam. Do this away from the running water for at least 20 seconds, being careful not to wash the foam away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Rinse your hands well under warm running water. Let the water run back into the sink, not down to your elbows. Turn off the water with a paper towel and throw it away.
  • Dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towel.

How do you know when you might become sick?

  • Your head hurts
  • You feel like throwing up
  • Your stomach hurts
  • You have to go the restroom many times
  • You feel tired
  • You do not feel like eating

What should you do if you feel sick?

  • At home, tell your parents how you feel, tell them all you did for the last two days. Most important, tell them what you ate and where you have been on a trip or visit.
  • At school, tell your teacher or nurse how you feel and tell them what you did for the past two days. Most important, tell them what you ate and where you have been on a trip or visit.

For more information, call

  • PA Department of Health: 877 PA Health
  • Pa Department of Agriculture: 717-772-2852
  • Penn State Veterinary Science: 814-863-2160