Childhood Diseases

Posted by: cat | 2012/07/09


hamsters and toddlers

hi there,

A bit of a silly question. We bought hamsters for our two sons (3 and 4) and they love playing with them but we heard now that it is not good for them to play with hamsters (or reptiles) because these animals carry germs like salmonella which can put the children at risk. We do let our boys wash their hands after handling the hamsters. What is your view on this?

Expert's Reply



Hamsters are not a source of salmonella infection. They have been known to carry a virus that may cause a form of meningitis, but this is not common. It should be safe to have hamsters in your home provided that your sons wash their hands very well after handling the hamsters or their cage. You should supervise their handwashing as young boys are often in a hurry when they have to wash their hands.

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user comments


Posted by: Dog | 2012/07/10

My husband had a hamster as a young boy and he has grown up okay. The only problem was that he put the hamster in his underpants and it bit him on the penis. He now has a war wound on his credentials!

Reply to Dog

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