5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

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5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168714 Mal
Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:43 pm

So the radio today is all about how the advice is now not to let the under fives feed or pet farm animals for fear of them catching E. coli - seems a bit baby-and-bathwater to me, what does everyone else think?
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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168719 pumpy
Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:51 pm

that'll be the elf'n safety brigade.......... the trouble with kids nowadays is that they live too clinical lives, without exposure to natural germs etc...... their natural immune systems are struggling to cope with everyday germs/infections. Two doors from us lives a young family whose kids are forever playing in the back garden, & it's great to hear them...... it's gotta be better than sitting in-doors glued to a play-station or whatever.
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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168723 StripyPixieSocks
Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:23 pm

Y'see I can understand the worry about children getting sick but as Pumpy said I think it's due to overly clinical lives... antibacterial everything has alot to answer for!

I mean... how on earth has every child born on a farm ever managed to live through this minefield? :scratch:

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168730 MuddyWitch
Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:03 pm

As one who grew up on a farm full of ruminants, I'll tell you how....we WASHED OUR HANDS!!!

I volunteered at our local city farm for a while a few years ago & was horrified by the number of parents who bought their tiny offspring a cornet, but failed to get them to wash their hands first. If one of us staff pointed it out they looked at us 'gone out' as we say 'round here. IE in total confusion.

The various quotes were:

'how could a moo cow or a sheepy be full of nasty germs?'
Surely 'they' wouldn't allow children near 'dirty' animals? (who are 'they'???!!!)
Little jenny/johnny doesn't like to wash her/his hands!

We put up huge (& I mean huge; 6ft square!) signs saying;

'Farm animals can carry germ that are harmless to them but can make humans ill, please wash your hands and ensure any children in your care wash their hands, after touching the animals or their enclosures. Thank-you.'

Still people came into the cafe with excrement on their hands and ordered sandwhiches.

The city farm in question took the decision to only sell food that you didn't have to handle, such as lollies on sticks and chips with little wooden forks, but still kids will use their hands.

It's not just that we over sanitise as a society, but it's also that we no longer know what is really a threat or that good old soap & water is the best form of hand hygiene. Several times I witnessed a Mother wipe her child's hands with a wet wipe, as if that would do.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168752 Sky
Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:35 am

Wouldn't a wet wipe do?

Yea encourage your kids to wash their hands after handling animals but don't be obsessive.

I really think that modern cleanliness has just reached the totally ridiculous. I played out and was mucky all school holidays long and weekends, I was a very street wise kid and I think it did me good to have the freedom to get mucky and socialise with my peers ... I think we over protect our children these days.

I have three boys and it's been a constant battle over the years to make them wash lol, I just let them be and if god forbid they touch a horse in the field, a cow in our next door paddock or the neighbours dog, I so am not going to stress about it.

Humans have to come into contact with nasties to build up immunities and I didn't die by digging in the dirt, building dens or by having the neighbours dogs slobber all over me.

I work on a farm and the amount of shit those cows produce lol. by the time I've finished at the end of the day I probably have ingested quite a lot of shit from splashes and splats in the sheds.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168755 mybarnconversion
Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:57 am

The worrying aspect to me is the pathetic, cosseted world that is being created by the idiots in government and associated vested interests... I must admit I find it truly saddening and wonder where it will all end...

Very sad also for all those petting zoo owners, I'm sure it was never an easy way to make a living.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168763 Mrs Moustoir
Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:33 am

Must admit, I'm torn on this subject.

I'm sure modern living has lowered human beings' resistance to the bugs and germs that abound - ie widespread use of antibiotics, disinfectants etc but surely some common sense is required!!

We live in rural France surrounded by fields full of livestock, and we are lucky enough to be able to let the kids lead an active outdoorsy life. They wash their hands when they come in from playing and before they eat. However, we were given a pretty serious indication of the perils of bugs and germs when my husband contracted septacaemia earlier this year, probably via a infected insect bite or bramble scratch he got whilst working in the garden.

As my mum used to say, you do "have to eat a bit of dirt before you die" but our ancestors were altogether more robust - their immune systems weren't weakened by antibiotics - either prescribed, in their food or water etc. But then some died young from the common diseases that those same antibiotics protect us from (for now, anyway...).

I'd rather be living now!! And I try to be sensible about hygiene but I certainly don't obsess about it.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168775 jampot
Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:36 am

i have to admit when i was a child (and yes i grew up on a farm ) i never washed my hands ,it was a struggle for my mum to get me to wash at all !! and the only time i got really sick was the school canteen supplied stomach bug
i can see why parents can freak out at the thought of germs and "anti bac" every thing insight ,children included, but i think there is a lot of media overhype AGAIN

thats just my thoughts, feel free to ignore or rip apart! :argue:
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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168805 MuddyWitch
Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:27 pm

'A peck of muck before you die' yes, e.coli no! My home is 'clean enough to be heathy, but dirty enough to be happy' ie there is often a muddy footprint or nine on the kitchen floor, but the chopping boards (seperate ones for raw meat & cooked food) are washed regularly.

I totally agree that kids should be allowed to get dirty, mine certainly were. But there is a big difference between allowing kids to get mucky & handling ruminants.

So, no, Sky, a wet-wipe won't do. (Please don't take that as a dig, it was only meant to be an answer to your question but it seems a bit harsh, sorry :oops: ) You need to ensure that the whole hand has been cleaned. This can only really be done by imersing up to the wrist in water and applying soap. As I understand it the two boys on dialysis had used a bit of alcohol gel, but that is only quoting the news so could be inaccurate.

We have been lulled into a false sense of security with these anti-bacterial wipes/washes etc. For example the alcohol gels so trumpeted in hospitals, doesn't kill CDiff, (sp?) hand washing does.

I totally agree our anti-biotic riddled society is too clean on the whole, but in this case we are talking basic hygiene.

Sadly it now looks as though our over-reactive government is about to apply those dreaded words 'heath & safety' and stop kids touching animals at all :cry:

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168815 Thomzo
Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:37 pm

It's one thing to grow up on a farm, from birth, with parents that have also lived on a farm and handled animals all their lives. Remember that we get a certain amount of immunity from our mothers.

For children that have spent most of their lives in sterile new houses with grass lawns and no contact with animals then they won't have the natural immunity so they do need to be more careful on the one occasion they do get to handle animals, so they do need to wash hands etc.

And people have died or been seriously ill from food poisoning so good, basic hygiene is important.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168818 grannymags
Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:45 pm

I have been saying this all along. Children have not been allowed to build up their immunity and then, when they go out any problems are blamed on someone else.

These farmers are being put out of business by thoughtless people who have spotless houses and spotless children but have forgotten about the simple basic hygeine of washing hands.

My house is a tip. My children (all grown up now) were allowed to get dirty when they played (much to other children's Mums horror!) and they never caught any 'bugs' going around as they had built up strong healthy immunity.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168831 Millymollymandy
Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:28 am

So which animals are we supposed to wash our hands after touching? :? Just cows, sheep and goats? What about horses and chickens? I didn't know you were supposed to wash your hands after touching any animals and I never have, because most of the time one doesn't happen to be near a sink with soap when one is out and about in the countryside or at a riding stables or just 'out' in the garden! Can I catch food poisoning from caterpillars? :lol:

Oops that doesn't read quite right. If I am indoors and about to eat or cook, and I know I've been touching an animal (including dogs and cats) I wash my hands. Well usually! :lol:
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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #168851 hetty
Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:16 am

When our children were small we quite often visited godstone farm as it is quite near where my parents in law live. They had big signs telling people to wash their hands and provided sinks etc. We always washed ours but I remember a lot of people did not bother. Our children knew that they didn't get to go again if they didn't wash their hands.

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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #172294 flyonthewall
Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:52 pm

Oh boy, the nanny state strikes again!

You might be amused by this one. I recently went to China, and had to use a public toilet in Beijing, as you do. There was an American woman in there with a small child. Now, these toilets were not pretty by any means, but there was soap and water there to wash your hands with. This mother freaked when the child went to the sink to wash his hands, saying no, the water is dirty, don't wash your hands in it.

When they got outside, the father handed the child an ice lolly!

so the kid had been to the loo and putting his hands all over the public toilet but she was more worried about him getting bugs from the water if he washed his hands?????
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Re: 5 year olds and farm animals and E. coli

Post: #177791 suziq
Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:25 pm

ecoli is very serious to young children and whilst i agree kids live rather sanitised lives, this leaves them super vunerable to this kind of infection, esp kids who go to petting farms etc from the cities, because they dont get any large animal contact. kids who live on farms may well have improved natural resistance to ecoli


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