Reptiles and Kids?

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by sillysally, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Since we are considering adding a bearded dragon and are also thinking about having offspring in the next couple of years (human, not reptile), I've been reading about the risks of having reptiles in the house with pregnant women/infants and small children via salmonella.

    I'm pretty sure there are members on here who have had reptiles and kids/been pregnant at the same time. How did you manage it?
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I got salmonella as a kid from my moms across the hall classrooms turtle and or iguana.

    That's all I have to add, I survived. lol
     
  3. Locke

    Locke Active Member

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    On my reptile forum, lots of people say the risk is so low/non existent. As long as you wash your hands after handling, there's no worry.
     
  4. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Sorry, but I'm gonna have to agree with the above.

    :spam:

    :popcorn:
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Convincing a kid to wash religiously and properly is hard, give them one chance alone and a finger can go in the eye, mouth, nose, etc.

    I am not against it though, like I said I survived just fine, but it's something to be aware of. This was 20+ years ago but when I was sick no one could guess what it was until my mom read a Dear Abby editorial in the paper and it clicked.

    I was still allowed to play with the scaley animals after all but mom was much more careful after that realization.
     
  6. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    One of my favorite relevant stories from a co-worker:

    Her nephew got a turtle for his birthday, and his parents made sure to really REALLY drive home the importance of washing his hands EVERY TIME he held the turtle, and he was very good about it.

    Couple months down the road the little boy gets sick with salmonella. His parents figured that he had probably forgot to wash his hands at some point and talked to him again about the importance of washing hands after playing with the turtle.

    Her nephew got upset because he was so SO good about washing his hands, and he explained to them "I pick the turtle up, I give it a kiss, I put it away, and then I WASH MY HANDS!"

    :p
     
  7. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    ROFLMAO Awesome, just awesome.
     
  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    :rofl1:

    I'd be more worried about small children...I mean you're probably still going to handle raw meat, pet food, etc. while pregnant, right? Just treat the reptile with the same caution you would a raw chicken...don't let them run across your dishes/kitchen table (or really clean well if for some reason you just have to let your beardie play in the salad bowl), wash your hand thoroughly after handling him or his stuff, etc.

    And considering he lives in his own enclosure you should be able to decide exactly how often the child gets to interact with the reptile, at least up to a certain age.
     
  9. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    I don't have reptiles, but I would without concern. I'd use the same precautions I would anyway...handwashing, etc. I'm a fairly obsessive handwasher as it is.
     
  10. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    One nice thing is that it would be kept in the sun room where the birds are, and that is a room that can be completely shut off from a child if necessary. I am also considering getting a habitat that can be locked. We are already going to teach the kid from day one NOT to put their fingers in the bird cages, because I have no doubt that Pickles and Kiwi would happily bite them, and Yoda may or may not depending on his state of grumpiness.

    I read some stats that said 74000 people a year yet reptile related salmonella, but then 4.5 million people a year are biten by dogs, and I have 2 of those and will always have dogs.
     
  11. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    ^^ This is really all you need to worry about during pregnancy. Now, I practice careful hygiene with my snakes all the time, so this wasn't really a deal. Just don't lick the bearded dragon and you should be fine. LOL!

    As for small kids, my best advice for when they are LITTLE little is to make sure you have an enclosure that is inaccessible. Either in a room the child doesn't have access to (at least not without supervision), or have it be high enough they can't reach. A locking enclosure is a good idea, but not always as easy as it sounds, depending on the containment you choose. That said, even very small kids can learn basic things like "don't pound on the cage" and "that isn't yours, please leave it alone".

    I have rack systems for my cornsnakes. They are very secure, but I don't really have any method for locking them. The racks are in the master bedroom, which is an area that Justin generally doesn't spend much time. When I do have him in there with me, well, it's WITH me, so he has direct supervision and I can redirect him if he starts messing around with the racks.

    Once the kid is old enough to understand, it's the standard lessons in learning to handle animals with proper respect, including hand washing, etc. Or so I assume. We haven't gotten to that age yet. :p

    All in all, I just practice good keeper habits with my reptiles, and don't stress about it too much. ;)
     
  12. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    I had a tortoise when I was six...I survived. LOL I never got sick from her, nor did my two year old siblings. That's all I have to add.
     
  13. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    My only experiences with reptiles have been limited to a very small turtle and a even smaller tree frog between when I was 4 - 7. I didn't handle either very much but I would say just be very vigilant about thoroughly washing hands after handling, feeding, maintenance etc - obviously no kissing/orifice contact at any time, and it should be pretty safe.
     
  14. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Just an update--I went to my family doctor today for a check up and mentioned the reptile concern. He agreed that it was pretty much like handling raw meat--good hand washing and hygiene. He also said that I was the first patient to ever ask him if it was ok to have a bearded dragon while pregnant and with a small child-lol.
     
  15. Kilter

    Kilter New Member

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    Bearded dragons are pretty tough, I'm sure it'd be fine if you had a kid. Just wash the kid well before you let the dragon touch it.
     
  16. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    ^^ Hahahahaha
     
  17. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    Omg. :lol:
     
  18. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    :rofl1:

    The biggest risk with salmonella are aquatic turtles. The poor dudes defecate in their water, and the vast majority of people don't have anywhere near adequate filtration or water changes to keep the bacteria load down to an acceptable level. They're swimming in a petri dish basically, so there's a higher risk of infection from handling a miskept turtle than, say, a desert dwelling critter where you can spot clean and sterilize his environment pretty regularly.

    If your dragon is set up with proper UV lights and all, really his enclosure should stay fairly sterile just from that.
     
  19. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Lol!!
     

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