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Petting Farms E-Coli scare ... will it stop you visiting one this summer?

(16 Posts)
milkmonster Sat 19-Sep-09 23:18:07

Read there's a higher chance of contracting this from the average kitchen worktop, but as usual the news is scaremongering. Just what businesses need in this recession! Luckily, it's come right at the end of the Season. Coincidence? And will it put you off visiting a children's petting farm this year or next?

Northernlurker Sat 19-Sep-09 23:19:10

No it won't because I would rather stick knitting needles in my eyes than visit one anyway grin

expatinscotland Sat 19-Sep-09 23:21:21


Kids get e coli infections from the school cafeteria.

I'd go and make sure they wash their hands is all.

There are no such places round here, there are all real farms with plenty of children working on them.

DD1 has struck up a friendship with a 9-year-old boy born to a sheep-farming family who farms away and has been since he could stand up.

I'll send her to visit anytime.

Her life is for living and she enjoys the farm life right now.

milkmonster Sat 19-Sep-09 23:27:34

It's true farming families are robust as their children typically immunise themselves quickly being in constant contact. The old codgers tend to conk out due to hernias mostly, still calving aged 90!

ToffeeCrumble Sun 20-Sep-09 00:55:08

Yes because they keep closing them round here so I'd have to break in if i wanted to visit one.

ABetaDad Sun 20-Sep-09 01:22:21

My Dad had a farm until he retired a few years ago. Our friends have a farm. My DSs have visited both farms all their lives. They have also visited petting farms including Godstone.

No I will not stop visiting. I am very sorry for the parents of the children involved but this is geting to hysteria levels.

PortAndLemon Sun 20-Sep-09 01:34:54

No, it won't affect my behaviour.

JackBauer Sun 20-Sep-09 06:58:23

I grew up in an old converted farmhouse which meant we were surrounded by sheep/dairy and arable farms from the land sold off. I spent my childhood pokming into things best left unpoked so it won;t change my behaviour, in fact, we are taking DD2 to one for her 2nd birthday in a few weeks as it has a zoo and fairground as well.

DD1(3.7) contracted campolybacter last year and was hospitalised overnight ona drip after going to collect chicken eggs with my (childless) sister, who forgot to tell her to wash her hands, so cleaning hands is important if you didn't grow up building immunity but no need to freak out I think.
They could all have just as easily caught it from dodgy ham in their packed lunches IMO.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Sun 20-Sep-09 07:06:03

Nope, why would it stop anyone? 'tis insanity.

I have every sympathy for the families and children involved, but this is crazy and being hugely overhyped.

He's coming for you, mwahhahaahahaha

Tambajam Sun 20-Sep-09 07:21:02

I'd still go. In fact I may go more ON PURPOSE. You can still enjoy a petting farm without touching an animal if you are of the paranoid persuasion. Or just really make an effort to wash their hands and use gel.

Kids have ALWAYS been around animals and while it's tragic they are some people who have been taking ill the positives outweigh the risks.

crokky Sun 20-Sep-09 07:38:06

I took my DCs (3 and 1) to a farm yesterday where they touched anything they wanted. It hasn't stopped me and I do have more anxiety than most about my DCs. So if it hasn't stopped me, I'd be surprised if it stopped many people!

jazzandh Sun 20-Sep-09 14:40:39

Hideous places.....have been to Godstone a couple of times and always cringed at it really. had a thumb sucker - so was particulalry vigilant/paranoid!

Places are rather false and a hive of cross contamination, from the animals, to the indoor playbarn, to the playground/picnic area - it's a wonder anyone survives it all....

Bumblingbovine Sun 20-Sep-09 18:58:45

Normally I would agree with the non-hysterical "We have always had farm animals " view and I had a season ticket to Horton Farm in the past (associated with Godstone farm) where some of my happiest days with ds and frinds have been spent.

BUT after hearing Professor Pennington (Bacteriolgist at Aberdeen) on Radio 4 the other day, I'm not so sure now. He said he didn't recommend that under 5's pet animals on these farms and he said that the form of ecoli is a super strain and has only developed recently, so arguments like 'children have lived on farms through the ages' doesn't hold here as this srain didn't exist in the past.

Apparently antibiotics actually make the illness worse so it is a very dangerous illness for small children to get hence the advice.

Ds is nearly 5 now but he is a thumb sucker too and getting his hands washed after each petting and before sucking when he was a toddler was ofen almost impossible. Given all that I think if ds were a toddler again I would avoid thse places and I really don't often say that sort of thing

TBH dh never liked the animals much and preferred all the play stuff but I was always trying to encouagge the animal stuff but as I say I'm now no longer so sure !

Mamazon Sun 20-Sep-09 19:05:13

i have vistied Godstone farm and was impressed by the hygene facilites there and the push for constant hand washing.

wouldn't stop me going agfain at all.

cakefaced Sun 20-Sep-09 21:35:56

We had an annual ticket to Godstone Farm because we used to live locally. It was a great safe place, and dd1 had her birthday party there last year. The staff were always friendly and fantastic and they would never have tried to harm anyone. I feel very sorry for any family affected and would be angry myself if dd1 was ill in hospital now. But I couldn't be angry with the farm specifically rather angry that I hadn't managed to stop her ingesting the bugs. I won't stop going to petting zoos. Superbugs are developing constantly, and its the poor use of antibiotics that is causing it. As with any infection (including swine flu) the best way to avoid it is good standards of hygiene including hand washing.

We need a sense of perspective. How many children were killed on the roads in since the outbreak was announced? I really hate to say this but you are more likely to be killed driving there than you are to die of E.Coli infection.

cazzybabs Sun 20-Sep-09 21:53:11

no - have visited today, am taking my class next week and having dd2's party at a farm the week after.... but will be ensuring on fingers in mouth and lots of hand washing - plus all are over 5

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