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Hygiene reminder for animal education

2 December 2019

SA Health is reminding educators about the importance of hygiene so children don’t become sick when handling animals.

This follows a number of cases of salmonella infection in young children from animal programs at early childhood services and schools.

Observing and interacting with children is beneficial. It offers a unique way to learn about and appreciate animals.

However, it’s important to consider:


Thorough washing with soap and water and proper drying is key to reducing risk of illness after contact with animals.

Supervision of children

Supervision reduces the risk of a child putting fingers or hands in their mouth or being scratched or bitten by an animal.

Parent or guardian consent

They should be informed and special consideration given to children with allergies of similar.

Animal areas

These should be separate from food preparation or eating areas.

Storage of animal feed

Food should be covered, sealed and labelled and stored separately from human food.

Animal adoption

Details of the adopting families should be recorded.


Areas where animals and animal products have been should be cleaned regularly with a disinfecting detergent. After cleaning, the worker should wash and dry their hands properly.

For more information see: