Be Careful of your kids at Petting Zoos! Especially the little ones ages 1, 2 and 3, who always touch their mouths! We had quite a scare this week with our toddler after he had 8 days of diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramping. See we had taken J Myster to the San Diego Zoo, and while we were there one of the places we wanted to visit was the petting zoo because J had fallen asleep when we got to the petting zoo 5 months earlier in Phoenix.
After 5 days of diarrhea which then led to vomiting, we took the little guy to the doctor. The first doctor we saw wasn’t much help, so we went back the next week to get some answers. This doctor we saw was very thorough with us and was trying to help us get down to the bottom of why he had been sick for so long.
Now we don’t know for sure if this is what he had or not because thankfully I never got the opportunity to collect a stool sample before his poop became normal again. If you get grossed out easily, you might want to stop reading here. His poop for a week was the consistency of cottage cheese and the color of Humus. Due to that description and the fact that he had no elevated temperature and no change in his diet, the Doctor started thinking “parasite” parasites are nasty little things and the one she was thinking of was Giardiasis. This parasite lives in the small intestines when you contract it and is usually found in third world countries, people who drink from well waters, streams or come in contact with animal fecal matter. Hunky Hubs and I looked at each other and the only thing we could think of was either from the beach or the petting zoo. Even though I washed my son’s hands after he touched the animals at the petting zoo it can be impossible for them not to touch their face or lips prior to you getting their hands washed and I’m sure that was probably the case here.
Now we don’t know for sure if he had Giardiasis, but I was given a kit to take home to collect poop samples with JOY!! Just what I wanted to do while pregnant with a sensitive stomach! My task was to wrap my son’s diaper in seran wrap, then collect the poop out of his diaper with a stick, put it in a container with a solution I had to mix, shake it up, then get it to the lab with in 24 hours. Fun. I was soo looking forward to doing this…..hopefully, you can sense my sarcasm. 😉
So after being given Culterelle Samples (a probiotic) that I put in some of his food, he went 2 and half days without a bowel movement and then yesterday afternoon, I was so happy to finally see that he had normal poop! What did that mean for me? I didn’t have to dig into it with a stick and possibly contaminate myself with this horrible parasite (The last thing you want to happen while pregnant!!)
Anyway I just wanted to send a warning out to all you moms out there to be leery of petting zoos and DO NOT LET YOUR KIDS TOUCH THEIR FACE BEFORE YOU WASH THEIR HANDS, if you visit one. Whether this was Giardiasis or not, it was still a pretty nasty stomach bug that was not kind to our little guy. It was days and days of “hold me hold me hold me” moments just because he didn’t feel well. It was heartbreaking and frustrating dealing with a sick toddler. So wash your kiddos hands guys and carry anti-bacterial soap with you too!!
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