Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Hygiene Habit Review Time & How to be Safe Around Animals

two girls holding puppies

With the weather getting warmer (at least here in America’s Midwest), more people will be spending more time outside.
This might be a good time to review good hygiene habits.

Here are some great places to start.

    • Nail hygiene is important for gardeners and anyone planning to get down and dirty with Mother Nature.
      The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some nail hygiene advice including
      • Avoid cutting cuticles, as they act as barriers to prevent infection.
      • Never rip or bite a hangnail. Instead, clip it with a clean, sanitized nail trimmer.
    • Going swimming in a neighborhood or other area pool? Take steps to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses
      • Don’t swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
      • Don’t swallow the pool water. Avoid getting water in your mouth.
      • Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
    • Keep your body as clean as possible. The CDC has a great interactive human body diagram with links to preventative advice.
      Click here for additional tips on facial cleanliness.
    • Planning on being around animals at the zoo, at a farm, or at someone’s house or campsite?
      Check out Proper Hygiene Around Animals with parenting tips (many useful for adults also!) that discourage these activities around animals
      • Eating or drinking
      • The use of strollers, toys, pacifiers, baby bottles, or spill-proof cups
      • Hand-to-mouth behaviors, such as thumb-sucking and nail-biting
      • Sitting or playing on the ground
      • Feeding the animals, unless the contact is controlled with barriers
      • Any contact with animals if an individual has open wounds
      • Contact with any animal waste

Related Resources

The figure is a poster to be exhibited at animal petting zoos that provides basic instructions to visitors for avoiding illnesses while coming in contact with animals.

Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011 (National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV))

While not aimed to the general public, it does include some good tips, as

Animal Areas

  • Do not allow food and beverages in animal areas.
  • Do not allow toys, pacifiers, spill-proof cups, baby bottles, strollers or similar items in animal areas.
  • Prohibit smoking and other tobacco product use in animal areas.
  • Supervise children closely to discourage hand-to-mouth activities (e.g., nail-biting and thumb-sucking), contact with manure, and contact with soiled bedding. Children should not be allowed to sit or play on the ground in animal areas. If hands become soiled, supervise hand washing immediately.
  • Ensure that regular animal feed and water are not accessible to the public.
  • Allow the public to feed animals only if contact with animals is controlled (e.g., with barriers).
  • Do not provide animal feed in containers that can be eaten by humans (e.g., ice cream cones) to decrease the risk for children eating food that has come into contact with animals.

Natural Unseen Hazards Blog news about natural unseen hazards that may place outdoor enthusiasts at risk

May 1, 2011 - Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , , , , , ,

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