Kids love animals in general, and pets in particular, and there are lots of benefits for children from pets. Unfortunately, you need to be wary that there are health hazards and diseases that your children can get from the animals they encounter; and that some of them are dangerous. Knowing the diseases, and what to look out for, could be vital for your child; so here are some ways that animals can affect your child’s health.
Also known as Parrot’s disease, psittacosis can be carried by a variety of birds, many of which are household pets. The disease can be contracted by handling and exposure to urine or feces, so bird cages should be cleaned daily and handling kept to a minimum. Though curable through antibiotics, the symptoms of psittacosis, that range from diarrhea to pneumonia, can be dangerous and frightening if left untreated.
This disease is caused by bacteria found in ticks, making it particularly prevalent in grassed and wooded areas; which is unfortunate for children who like to play in open spaces. Symptoms range from aches and pains to possible kidney failure (visit Rose Wellness Center for an in depth look at Lyme’s disease and its extensive symptoms and diagnosis). Prevention is the order of the day, so make sure your kids wear long trousers, and keep to the walkways in any wooded areas; particularly those known to be inhabited by deer.
When you were pregnant, you will have been warned about toxoplasmosis, but just because you have now had your child, it does not mean that you can forget about it; particularly if you have a cat in your house. The Toxoplasma Gondi parasite only matures in cats, but the embryonic stage can infect your child, and cause a swollen liver or spleen and affect his/her eyesight. If your child has swollen glands or dark, blurred vision, these could be signs of infection, so see a doctor. If you have a cat, your child should be kept away from litter boxes and anywhere your cat may go to the toilet. Sandboxes can be mistaken for litter boxes by cats, so keep them covered when not in use, cleaned out regularly, and the sand replaced often.
Asthma can be a terrifying condition and, if your child has asthma, it could well be because of contact with a pet. Pets are a major trigger for asthma sufferers, yet many parents do not understand the details about pets, children, and asthma. If your kids have asthma pets should never allowed to sleep with the kids. Buying a HEPA air cleaner will help keep dander (dead skin flakes) out of the air, and house cleaning is vital; with particular attention paid to upholstery and carpets.
Not all animals are a health risk to your child, and most children will never be ill because of them. However, where our children are concerned, we should know the facts.