Snakes in a nursery?(16 Posts)
I'm not sure if I'm overreacting, but I've just picked up my 8 month old son from nursery (he does four mornings a week) with an allergic reaction on both of his hands. DH is just phoning the doctor now to find out what we should do. It turns out that Zoolab were visiting so he touched a snake, a millipede, etc and therefore it looks like this is what might have caused it. The nursery did mention the Zoolab visit in their calendar and said we could request that our child does not touch the animals, but the date of the visit changed and so I didn't realise it was today and did not request this. I did however assume it must be pretty safe and a good learning opportunity, however, I've just seen the CDC website (centre for disease control) and they say snakes should not be allowed in daycare settings where there are under fives. Has anybody else had any experience of Zoolab in a nursery setting? I really like our nursery but feel that maybe I ought to say something... Any thoughts most appreciated.
Could it be more likely an allergic reaction to something like antibacterial gel used on his hands after touching the animals?
What a completely stupid and pointless activity for the nursery to do with 8 month olds.
That said, my dc have been on zoo trips/parties where animals are brought and it has always been fine and I imagine done safely. I agree that it's probably a hand sanitiser reaction or similar and would bath your ds but do his hands first separately. Also wash all of his clothes.
I think that if you were saying that you didn't know this was going to be happening and would have asked that your son didn't take part then you would have room to complain but you knew this was happening and didn't excuse him.
He's had a reaction to something. Not something the nursery could have foreseen happening so I'm not sure what your complaint would be
I hadn't thought of that, but yes I guess it's totally possible. Thanks - will ask doctor.
And yes, I think I probably am overreacting a bit, I was just quite alarmed by the sight of his red and puffy little hands. As you say, FoxesSitOnBoxes the nursery had no way of forseeing this, though I do still wonder if snakes in a nursery is a good idea with the value of hindsight!
The issue with reptiles in nurseries (other than the obvious ethical ones) is that reptiles tend to carry e-coli, hence the importance of handwashing afterwards.
TBH I think it is more likely he reacted to the antibacterial sanitiser - they tend to be fairly heavy duty.
Millipedes can also cause an itchy reaction.
I'd also say more suitable for older toddlers, but if your DC's nursery is small they can't always differentiate activities that well.
My DS's nursery have visits from zoo lab - he loves it! To be honest I never thought of any issues with it as the kids are well supervised and I want him to learn about different animals and not be scared of them (I'm arachnophobic)
We have had them in nurseries but only pre school. I am suprised they did it with younger children who could unintentionally hurt the animals
Snakes can carry bugs, but generally it's managed well with hand washing and using gels. I would suspect the reaction is to that.
We have two pet snakes. Dd who is now three has held them, we always practice good hand hygiene and she has never had a reaction.
It does seem a bit pointless with younger babies and might end up with squished millipedes.
Ds loved getting to touch snakes on preschool trips to local 'farm', at that age. He did get alarming enormous red bumps on hands and legs (as in 2 inches across!) when he was about 12 months, once very badly, twice just slightly, and the GP deduced it was some sort of contact allergy as he was crawling on those parts, and the two mild times were just after our cleaner had been.
We asked her and nursery to be careful with rinsing floors and it's never happened again, so we may never know what it was, but probably some brand of antibacterial floor cleaner. Terrifying the first time though!
CDC is an American body, are you in the US? I would imagine varieties of snakes in the States are probably a bit bigger and badder than the ones here and the diseases likely to be different too, so I wouldn't base too much on their recommendations.
If you're UK based, Public Health England is probably the equivalent organisation (or its nationally devolved counterparts). PHE do say that snakes are a salmonella risk but I can't find anything saying they shouldn't be brought into nursery settings.
It does sound more like a reaction to a chemical or something to me, as others have said. Hand gel, antibac wipe, that kind of thing.
Thanks so much for all of your replies - really helpful! I've just realised about the CDC being in the US - I think I was googling in blind panic (first time mum so get alarmed rather easily!). Anyway, the doc couldn't say for sure what caused the reaction, but he doesn't think it is anything to worry about which is the main thing. I think like a lot of you suggested it was probably the hand sanitizer. Phew! thanks again.
Very surprised that they included the young babies, it's a great activity for older children but the young ones not so sure.
We would have asked for written permission too so no chance of a mix up as to who was allowed. Agree though it's most likely the hand cleaner.
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