How can I safely bring an animal into a school or daycare?

It is important to remember that animals can have germs on their bodies and in their habitats, even if they appear healthy. However, if you decide to bring them into a school or daycare setting, make sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Obtain appropriate veterinary care, a certificate of veterinary inspection, or proof of rabies vaccination (or all of these) according to local or state requirements.
  • Animal caretakers should keep animals clean and free of intestinal parasites, fleas, ticks, mites, and lice.
  • Parents should be informed of the benefits and potential risks associated with animals in school classrooms. Consult with parents to determine special considerations needed for children who are immunocompromised, have allergies, or have asthma.
  • Ensure that personnel providing animals for educational purposes are knowledgeable regarding animal handling and zoonotic disease issues. Persons or facilities that display animals to the public should be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Risky animals should not be allowed in schools or daycares with children younger than 5 years old. Households with children under 5 years of age should not own "risky" pets. These include reptiles, such as turtles, snakes, or lizards; amphibians, especially frogs; poultry, including chicks, chickens, and ducklings; and rodents, such as hamsters.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.