I am a “peck of dirt” kind of mom, and I try very hard not to make my kids neurotic by following them around with antibacterial wipes. In fact, I try not to follow them around too much at all. But, a recent story out of England has me running for the hand-sanitizer.
At a playground in Manchester, a 2-year-old girl tripped into a pile of dog do and then wiped her face. Sadly, some of the puppy poo got into the baby’s eye and she’s now facing partial blindness.
Parents, beware; dog-owners, clean up!
Although little Amiee Langdon’s mom rushed her home for a cleanup after she landed in the mess, it wasn’t enough. The toddler woke up early in the morning screaming with her eye swollen shut and a fever.
At the hospital, Amiee was treated for toxocariasis, a human infection caused by dog's roundworm. Poor baby! Toxocariasis is potentially lethal, but in Amiee’s case, the doctors predict a partial loss of sight.
Turns out, toxocariasis is more prevalent in the U.S. than I thought. It may not always have such dire results, but after hearing about Aimee, I don’t want to take any chances. Here are some (mostly common sense) tips I learned for preventing the infection:
1. Keep a boundary: Don’t let your children play in the same area where pets are known to do their business.
2. Clean up: If you have pets, clean up after them frequently, and be sure to properly dispose of their feces. This goes for everyone, parents or not. The Toxocara eggs hang out in dog and cat poop!
3. Make sure the sandbox is clean: If a sandbox looks questionable, don’t give in to your toddler’s desperate begging. Furthermore, if you have a sandbox, keep it covered when not in use. This way, it’s less likely to become an animal outhouse.
4. Deworm your pets!
5. Wash hands frequently. This is important for everyone, especially after playing with or around pets and before eating.
Does this concern you? Have any other tips to add?