This CDC Kidtastics podcast discusses the danger of reptiles and amphibians carrying and spreading Salmonella and how to prevent infection. Created: 8/4/2009 by National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (NCZVED).
Date Released: 8/4/2009. Series Name: CDC Kidtastics.
[Announcer] This podcast is brought to you by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC - safer, healthier people.
[Karmen] Hi kids! Welcome to CDC Kidtastics Radio! I'm Karmen Kidtastic.
[Karmen] Today we're going to talk about something really important … reptiles, amphibians, and an icky germ called Salmonella. Do you know what a reptile is?
[Caydan] A turtle!
[Kaya] A snake!
[Chris] A lizard!
[Karmen] Do you know what an amphibian is?
[Kids] A frog!
[Karmen] But, do you know what Salmonella is?
[Caydan] No, what is it?
[Karmen] Salmonella is a germ that makes you sick. If you have Salmonella you might get diarrhea or a fever, a headache, or an upset stomach. You might even throw up!
[Karmen] You could get so sick that you might have to go to the doctor or a hospital!
[Kaya] Oh no … I don't want to do that!
[Karmen] No one does! Having Salmonella is not fun!
[Chris] What does Salmonella have to do with turtles and frogs?
[Karmen] Well, reptiles and amphibians can carry the germ Salmonella.
[Caydan] Does that mean my turtle is sick? He doesn't look sick.
[Karmen] Reptiles and amphibians can carry around the germ Salmonella, but it doesn't make them sick, like it does you or me. You can't tell if a reptile or amphibian has Salmonella just by looking at it because germs are invisible. This icky germ can be on the animal, in its cage, in its food and water, and on anything it touches, like your toys or the kitchen counter.
[Kaya] So what should I do to make sure I don't get sick?
[Karmen] Since germs like Salmonella can live on and around the animal, it's really important to wash your hands right after being near a reptile or amphibian, even if you didn't touch it. If you don't wash your hands, you might spread Salmonella germs to food, toys, the kitchen counter, or anything else you touch. If your family or friends then touch these places, they could get sick. It's also important to do a really good job cleaning anything a reptile or amphibian touches, because the invisible germs can be there too. Always keep reptiles and amphibians out of the kitchen and away from places where food is eaten. Don't let them loose in your house; always keep them in their own cage or container. And don’t ever kiss a reptile or amphibian or put it in or near your mouth. If you have brothers and sisters younger than five, a reptile or amphibian isn't a good pet to have. But if you do have one, make sure your little brother or sister doesn't play with it or its cage. Babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouth and no one wants them to get sick.
[Karmen] You should follow these rules around any reptiles or amphibians, not just your pets. If you find a frog or a turtle and touch it or anything around it, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water for as long as it takes to sing the 'Happy Birthday' song twice!
[Karmen] The Kidtastics want you to be a safer, healthier kid. Stay healthy around reptiles and amphibians by washing your hands with soap and water and by cleaning anything the animal touches!
Thanks for listening to CDC Kidtastics Radio. We'll talk to you again soon. Until then... be a "Safer – Healthier – Kid!!"
[Announcer] For the most accurate health information, visit www.cdc.gov or call 1-800-CDC-INFO, 24/7.