• Contact Information

    Public Health Phone answered 24/7


    Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Contact Us

    645 Parfet Street
    Lakewood, CO 80215

    View Map

    Lakewood Clinic

    645 Parfet Street Lakewood, CO 80215
    Fax: 303-239-7088

    WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) in Arvada

    5150 Allison Street Arvada, CO 80002
    Fax: 303-275-7503

    WIC in Wheat Ridge

    7495 W. 29th Ave. Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
    Fax: 303-239-9592

    WIC in Lakewood - 645 Parfet Street, 80215

    email: kharris@jeffco.us
    Fax: 303-239-7023

  • Animal Exhibits and Petting Zoos


    From watching calf roping at the rodeo to petting lambs at the county fair, there are many ways to explore the animal world. Exhibits such as petting zoos and fairs let children of all ages have the thrilling experience of coming face to face with animals. In our increasingly urban society, a petting zoo is often the only place where kids can see and touch animals besides cats and dogs. This interaction allows people to learn more about animals and helps to build an important human-animal bond.

    Unfortunately, many people become sick every year because of a visit to an animal exhibit. It is important to remember that animals sometimes carry germs that are harmful to humans. When people forget to wash their hands after petting an animal or bring food into an area where animals are located, they are at risk for becoming ill.

    Below are some tips to help you prevent illness when visiting animal exhibits…

    Wash Hands:

    Always wash your hands, for at least 20 seconds, after petting animals or touching the animal enclosure, especially before eating and drinking. Running water and soap are best however hand gels can do the trick if no hand-washing facilities are available.

    Keep Hands out of Mouths:

    Children younger than five years old need supervision. Never allow children to put their hands or objects (i.e. pacifiers or toys) in their mouth while interacting with animals.

    Keep Food and Animals Separate:

    Eat or drink before going to the petting zoo rather than during or after. Keep food and drinks out of animal areas. Do not share your food with animals.

    Visit Clean Facilities:

    If there are a lot of animal droppings in the petting area or if the animals appear excessively dirty, it is probably best not to visit. Even with the best hygienic practices, illness-causing bacteria may be present at the animal exhibit.

    Watch for Symptoms:

    If your child becomes ill soon after visiting a petting zoo or farm, contact your doctor. Exposure to E-coli can make your child extremely sick with severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

    In addition, elderly persons or others who might have a difficult time fighting off infections should use special precautions.

    For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. View exit disclaimer policy page for links to third-party websites.

    Related Information:

    Animal-Borne Disease Newsletter

    Handwashing Guidelines when Leaving Animal Exhibits

    Petting Zoo and Animal Exhibits

    Prevent Animal-Borne Diseases

    Last Updated: 8-29-2013