Herp Queries: Reptile Shows And Germs

Question: Is there a danger of bacteria or germs if I let my kids go to a reptile show? Are there airborne diseases they can catch just walking around at one?

Juanita Sanchez, Oceanside, Calif.

Mr. Kipling at the Reptile Super Show

john virata

Have young ones wash their hands after touching herps, or any animals for that matter. Most all tables at the shows have antibacterial disinfectant for use.

Answer: Yes, there will be jillions of germs floating around in the air of the often-crowded aisles. Such events are every bit as hazardous as schools, shopping malls and parties - anywhere that humans congregate is always a little risky for contracting whatever they’re carrying. What you don’t have to fret over is you or the kids getting sick from breathing air emanating from the animals on vendors’ tables.

Walking around, enjoying looking at the specimens on display at a herp show, is a pretty safe undertaking. It’s only when you start letting children handle them (when allowed at shows) that the tiniest chance of something not positive resulting occurs. Nips or scratches are always a slim possibility. It comes with the territory. That’s always a very small risk.

Germs, on the other hand, can be slightly more worrisome, but they are also an easy fix. Have young’uns wash their hands after touching herps, or any animals for that matter. Most vendors now keep a dispenser of disinfectant on their tables if they’re allowing potential buyers to inspect their stock by hand. Make generous use of it if concerned, or bring some along to the show yourself if in doubt.

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