Yes, according to Liz Neporent of AOLHealth, kids have been imitating Princess Tiana of The Princess and the Frog a little too closely: "for 50 unfortunate little girls around the country, an amphibious lip lock sent them to the hospital." The culprit was salmonella, a bacterial infection that can be transmitted via frog skin. In the understatement of the year, Neporent writes, "Reptiles aren't ideal kissing partners, either." Turtles can carry not only salmonella but consumption, of all things, and "according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 7,000 people a year get sick from handling reptiles."
Readers, I did this. At the age of four, I got salmonella from playing with a dead lizard. I don't remember the illness, mercifully, but I do remember the seduction of the lizard himself — so still, so pale, so not-skittering-away-like-living-lizards-do. This lizard was my Sleeping Beauty, and while I didn't kiss him to wake him from his slumbers, I sure handled the shit out of him. And instead of a fairy tale ending, all I got was really, really sick. While the maxim that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince may be lame as a metaphor, it's even worse when taken literally.
Neporent notes that "Even sweet little puppies, cute kittens and other traditional pets can make your child sick." And while parents can hopefully prevent one vector of transmission — contact between animal feces and open wounds — fur can be a carrier too. So even if your kid isn't playing with broken glass and then rolling in dog shit, she's still not entirely safe. Given the apparent influence of Disney movies, perhaps it's time for the studio to make a film endorsing a pathogen-free life partner that cleans up after itself: The Princess and the Roomba.
Un-Hoppy Ending [AOLHealth]