"We have grandchildren, our friends' grandchildren visit us," said Zerebko, who has hand-washing stations on site. "We want to make sure it's safe for all children, besides our own."
For Sarah Land, a daycare worker in charge of 20 kids visiting Zerebko's petting zoo, the secret to success is to take the memories home, but not the germs.
"We'll be hitting those, washing all their hands, getting some hand sanitizer," Land said. "Really important to us."
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How to Avoid Illness at the Petting Zoo
If you get something like E. coli on your hands, it does not soak into your skin, so you're only at risk if it gets into your system through your nose or mouth.
That's why prompt and thorough hand washing after a petting zoo visit is so crucial. Remember to say your ABCs to yourself while you wash, so you'll know you're doing a thorough job.
In addition to leaving sippy cups and pacifiers at home, there are things parents can do to avoid bacteria that can lead to illness.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put together some hand-washing tips and general guidelines:
Take advantage of the hand-washing stations at the petting zoo. Washing your hands with soap and running water is your best bet. If not, try hand-sanitizing gel.
Always wash your hands after petting the animals, touching gates or fences, and before eating or drinking.
Kids must be supervised at all times, especially if they are 5 years old or younger.
Do not bring food or drinks into the petting zoo or share your food with the animals.
For more information from the CDC, click here.