LETTER: Children must be taught to wash hands

It is only reasonable that many residents of Pendle are very concerned about dog dirt being left by careless dog owners.

Pendle now has by-laws making it an offence for dogs to foul any public place. The council also provides free “poo bags” for dog owners that make picking up dog dirt relatively easy.

Nevertheless, children still need to be taught to wash their hands before meals and resist their natural inclinations to eat and suck at things they find.

Not only is it impossible for even the best-intentioned of dog owners to completely pick up all dog dirt, but also there are large numbers of bacteria that can be found in soil itself which can be harmful to youngsters and cause upset stomachs to say the least.

Dogs are also famous carriers of the parasitic worm toxocara, which can cause blindness when humans are infected. The infection is spread particularly easily when there is human contact with dog faeces. However, what many may not be aware of is that toxocara can sense when their host is pregnant and increase the number of eggs they produce accordingly to ensure the puppies get infected too. Thus, it is very important to give a pregnant dog treatment to kill the parasites and warn children to handle puppies carefully, not to kiss them and to wash their hands properly afterwards.

DAVID FOAT

Varley Street, Colne