PARENTS and school staff in South Craven planning farm visits are being urged to take simple precautions to prevent them and their children picking-up infections.

North Yorkshire health chiefs say such visits can be great fun and educational.

But they stress the importance of adopting basic hygiene measures.

“We’ve got some great open farms but the animals people meet can carry a number of infections that are harmful to humans,” said County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, executive member for public health, prevention and supported housing.

“You can easily reduce the risk of infection by washing your hands thoroughly with liquid soap and warm running water and drying them with disposable paper towels immediately after you have touched animals, fences or other surfaces around them.

“Adults should supervise children closely to ensure that they wash their hands thoroughly, too. And do remember – hand gel or wipes are not a substitute for washing hands with warm, running water.”

Kathryn Ingold, consultant in public health for North Yorkshire, said people were at risk of contracting bugs such as E. coli and salmonella if they didn’t take precautions.

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