Ask a Question forum: Toddlers playing in Bird baths

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Name: Shirley Van Dyke
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vandsh
Jul 5, 2016 1:07 PM CST
Hi, I am a grandma of a 20 month old and she has been playing in a neighbors bird bath water- I am wondering if the bird bath is cleaned out regularly is there some risk involved with her playing in the slightly used water? ( I am concerned about viruses etc. not drowning as it's only about 5 cups of water 1 inch deep) Thanks for any help/advice you can give me!
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Claudia
Jul 5, 2016 2:15 PM CST
I would not recommend it myself. Birds can carry a number of disease. Other animals may also access the birdbath, such as raccoons. Lastly misquotes lay their eggs in water. A 20 month old is going to put there fingers in their mouths, eyes, ears. So not a good idea to play in a bird bath.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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drdawg
Jul 5, 2016 2:20 PM CST
I agree
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BirdBathMan
Sep 24, 2017 12:17 PM CST
Agreed! Mosquitoes often breed in bird baths, they can also contain larvae if they are not cleaned often. There is also a danger of them tipping over, which is especially dangerous if the bird bath is made of heavy material, like cement or stone.
Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Sep 24, 2017 12:31 PM CST
I agree, there are tons of bacteria found in birdbaths and regarding drowning in an inch of water; it is possible:
http://www.thejournal.ie/baby-...
http://www.nhwatersafety.com/d...
http://www.realhomesafety.com/...

From one of the above sites:
Young children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. That means drowning can happen where you'd least expect it - the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, pet bowls, birdbaths, wading pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater. (Source: KidsHealth/The Nemours Foundation, June 2004, Most Kids Who Drowned Were Supervised, Study Finds)
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[Last edited by plantladylin - Sep 24, 2017 2:30 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Sep 24, 2017 1:48 PM CST
I'll be in the minority and say -- let her play away. Yes, she should be supervised, as all 2 year olds should, but I wouldn't over-worry about potential bugs, viruses, etc. Exploring her natural world is more important in my opinion.
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Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Sep 24, 2017 2:25 PM CST
LOL, I grew up in a family of 6 children, all of us close together in age and I do remember my mom saying a few times: "A little dirt ain't gonna kill you" but that was due to us playing in a dirt pile with a pail and shovel or making mud pies after a rain shower.

We never had birdbaths in the yard when I was a youngster but as an adult I learned about bacteria issues regarding birds when my husband and I had pet birds over the years and I learned more when I began planting a garden for attracting birds and placing bird feeders and water dishes/birdbaths in the garden for their use.

When it comes to the bacteria spread by birdbaths, I'd be very wary of allowing a child to play in the water which is more than likely contaminated by bird droppings unless the neighbor cleans it daily. Birdbaths should be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of diseases from bird to bird but there are also diseases that can be spread from bird to human such as bacteria that causes salmonella and e-coli, among others.

An article containing information regarding the subject: http://vetextension.wsu.edu/wp...
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Name: Suzanne/Sue
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Calif_Sue
Sep 25, 2017 7:15 AM CST

Moderator

Unfortunately the original poster hasn't been back since first posting this question, over a year ago.
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Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 25, 2017 7:24 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing I didn't even notice the date.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Sep 25, 2017 8:38 AM CST
Oh well. Sometimes it's just good to have a discussion, whether the original person follows along or not. No harm.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 25, 2017 9:41 AM CST
This would have been a good one for the KnowledgeBase.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Sep 25, 2017 10:05 AM CST
I suppose, Lin, although I continue to think it is an non-issue. Everyone has their own level of perceived danger, though. When my eldest grandchild was young, she referred to me as 'messy Grandma' and my counter-part as 'shopping Grandma' -- pretty much hit the nail on the head with that one -- I hate to shop and other Grandma is a neat-nik. Good balance.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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