Is It Safe For Babies To Be around the Birds?

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(Last Updated On: November 5, 2018)

Parrots and Pigeons around Your Baby: This Is What You Should Know

If you are a pet bird lover or taking your baby to a house with bird pets and wondering if it’s healthy or unsafe for your child, then here is what you must know about the safety of the babies when they are around birds.

The Basics about the Problem with Birds and Babies

The birds like gulls and pigeons are categorized as pests as they spread diseases through the dust and their feathers. Pregnant women and babies are prohibited to come in contact with the birds like pigeons, gulls and parrots as they can cause sickness. Also, the transmission of some diseases from a few birds occurs through direct contact, inhaling, food contamination and some other ways.

Is Bird Dropping Toxic to Babies?

Well the below-mentioned diseases will explain everything.

Some of the Common Birds Related Diseases

Psittacosis (Parrot Fever)

Parrot fever, parrot infection or Psittacosis which is a disease related to newborn baby and parrot occurs due to bacteria called Chlamydia Psittaci. The name may point towards parrots but there are other birds too that spread parrot fever including pigeon, duck and chicken. The primary symptoms of this disease resemble that of flu. Victims may experience fever, dry and non-productive cough. Nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, diarrhea, tiredness and fatigue are some other symptoms that indicate that a person is suffering from parrot fever.
parrot fever
Parrot disease mainly spreads to human and people with poor immunity, elderly people, babies and pregnant women are highly prone to this disease. Also, people with respiratory issues easily get sick due to Parrot disease. Dust, feathers and cried bird droppings are the main factors that encourage the spreading of this disease.
So, if you are sick and you got birds at home then immediately consult with your doctor or health practitioner and mention that you have parrot or other pet birds at home. Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of parrot disease but it’s important to take precautions when you have kids at home as their immunity is comparatively weaker than the adults and they are highly prone to this disease. Make sure your baby washes his/her hands after touching the bird, the cage or the feather/droppings.
Ref: Wikipedia

Allergic Alveolitis

Allergic Alveolitis which is commonly known as Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis is basically a lung infection where the lung is inflamed. This occurs due to the exposure to bird droppings, dust and feathers. This can also occur in the outer part of the body. Repeated exposure to these bird residues that contain fungi and bacteria causes a reaction in the body’s defence system making you sick.
Ref: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781455733835000646

Salmonella

Salmonella infections that are commonly known as Salmonellosis spread through the feces and feathers of the birds. This infection mainly affects the intestinal tract. The symptoms of this diarrheal sickness include diarrhea, chills, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
Ref: https://meridianbirdremoval.com/why-birds-cause-salmonellosis-risk/

Mycobacterium Avian Complex (MAC):

MAC usually affects people with a poor immune system. This disease is mainly caused by the organisms called M Intracellulare and M Avium. The results of this disease can be fatal sometimes.

Diseases caused by pigeons

pigeon
If you see pigeons around your home and you got kids then you need to be a bit concerned about them. The common troubles faced due to pigeons are their droppings, feathers and dust spreading in the balcony. Pigeon droppings contain fungus and it affects the lungs. Make sure your laundry, especially kid’s laundry is safe is not exposed to the dust and droppings caused by the pigeons. People who have pet birds or simply pests around them generally ask a question – can my bird make pregnant women sick? Yes, they can. Prevent your baby and pregnant woman, if there is any, from getting in contact with the debris, feathers and droppings caused by the pigeons. Educate them about these birds and the health issues caused due to them.
Here is a whole dedicated article on Health Hazards due to Pigeons to Humans: Respiratory Issues due to Pigeons

Bird Dropping: Toxic for Humans

Bird droppings are very dangerous to human health. Here are some major hazards due to bird droppings:

E.Coli

This infection occurs due to the enteric bacteria. It is usually found in bird feces.

Candidiasis

This fungal infection is usually caused due to pigeon droppings and affects many organs like intestine, skin, mouth, respiratory system and urogenital tract.

St. Louis Encephalitis

It is a neurological disorder which may end up taking the form of paralysis.

Histoplasmosis

This lethal disease is caused due to the fungus present in bird droppings.

Salmonellosis

This disease is usually experienced when the dust and bacteria come in contact with the food through ventilation or air condition and leads to food poisoning.
The beautiful colors, enchanting sounds and humorous behaviours of birds are always adorable. There is no dearth of pet lovers and kids always fall into this vast category.
BUT, the immune system of the kids are weak and they are very vulnerable to dust and bacteria. If birds are around, dust and droppings will be a common sight but you can take measures to prevent your kids from getting exposed to these things to avoid serious illnesses.

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Sapana

Software professional - now work at home mom

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