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TO ALL THE DOG WALKERS WHO DON'T PICK UP THE POO, SHAME ON YOU!
This beautiful spring weather has everyone in a great mood. Yesterday, I was so excited to take Henry to the park. I brought a blanket and a bunch of toys. I planned to put him in the swing, let him play on the slides and then play by the dog run.
My plans were thwarted when Henry refused to sit in the swing. All he wanted to do was crawl around in the grass. Normally I'd be thrilled to let him romp around in the dirt, but there is dog poo everywhere. Chicago dogs rule the parks, and it is painfully evident when the snow melts and months of frozen poo resurface and defrost. I would be less paranoid if Henry was walking. Plus he's a thumb sucker. I found myself wiping his hands every 5 seconds. I was so frustrated that I couldn't let him play with sticks, etc. I am very much looking forward to having my own dog-poo-free yard.
If you think I'm a freak, check out the articles below on how people get sick from feces. I'm not saying parks are bad, I love parks. But for a crawling toddler who puts everything in his mouth, it makes me very uncomfortable. Our park does have a recycled tire floor under the playset and swings, however, it's terrible for crawlers as it burns their knees and wears down their clothes. So obviously, next time we take a trip to the park, Henry will wear crappy clothes with knee pads. Yay for fun!
I'm really not an alarmist. Really.
Here is some info from the CDC website:
What is giardiasis?
Giardiasis (GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis) is a diarrheal illness caused by a microscopic parasite, Giardia intestinalis (also known as Giardia lamblia or Giardia duodenalis). Once a person or animal has been infected with Giardia, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in feces. Because the parasite is protected by an outer shell, it can survive outside the body and in the environment for long periods of time (i.e., months).
During the past 2 decades, Giardia infection has become recognized as a common cause of waterborne disease in humans in the United States. Giardia can be found worldwide and within every region of the United States.
How do you get giardiasis and how is it spread?
The Giardia parasite lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals (e.g., cats, dogs, cattle, deer, and beavers). Millions of germs can be released in a bowel movement of an infected human or animal. Giardia is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite; you cannot become infected through contact with blood. Giardia can be spread by:
- Accidentally swallowing Giardia picked up from surfaces (such as bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails, or toys) contaminated with feces from an infected person or animal.
- Drinking water or using ice made from contaminated sources (e.g., lakes, streams, shallow [less than 50 feet] or poorly monitored or maintained wells).
- Swallowing recreational water contaminated with Giardia. Recreational water includes water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs or spas, fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, ponds, or streams that can be contaminated with feces or sewage from humans or animals.
- Eating uncooked food contaminated with Giardia.
- Having contact with someone who is ill with giardiasis.
- Traveling to countries where giardiasis is common and being exposed to the parasite as described in the bullets above.
Giardia infection can cause a variety of intestinal signs or symptoms, which include
- Gas or flatulence
- Greasy stools that tend to float
- Stomach or abdominal cramps
- Upset stomach or nausea
Giardiasis is highly contagious.
See also: http://www.livestrong.com/article/18775-symptoms-giardiasis/