Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kid-Friendlier Pets

Thinking of getting a family pet? You should probably choose a cat or a dog. A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that popular "nontraditional pets" -including hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, rabbits, iguanas, turtles, frogs, and even hedgehogs- can spread diseases like salmonella and ringworm to young children (even dogs and cats are treated to prevent worms). "Kids under 5 put everything their mouth, and their immune system makes them more susceptible to germs," says pediatrician Larry Pickering, M.D., lead author of the report. Plus, little kids are more likely to provoke these animals to bite and scratch. What if you already have a beloved hamster or a fabulous ferret? Supervise your child carefully and have him wash his hands after touching it.

Fourty-five million American households have dogs, making them the most popular pet by far.

1 comment:

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