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Kids and Animals Make a Great Team

boy with arms around dogMost Canadian homes have pets, but young children may also encounter animals at school, daycare or in their community. When children interact with animals they learn about life cycles, responsibility and animal care, they gain companionship, and experience better mental health.

Animals can carry germs that make people sick. These germs can be on the animals body or in their bodily fluids, in pet food and treats, or animal living spaces. People may come into contact with these germs when handling animals, through bites and scratches or touching surfaces where those germs have spread. Children under the age of five years have a higher risk of getting since from animal germs as:

  • they have developing immune systems

  • they place their hands in their mouth more often

  • they are less likely to wash their hands regularly and properly

Because they are less able to fight off infections, young children are also more likely to be sick for a longer time and experience more serious complications than older children and adults.

Animals and Germs

Keeping Kids Healthy

To learn more, contact the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577.