hi D., there was some fuss last summer over kids getting sick from petting zoos. makes sense, but i think the mall is almost as gross, and playgrounds, daycare, etc as well. it is one of our favorite things to do. just use common sense and stay vigilant about washing their hands. keep a close eye because you know they will be picking stuff up and trying to eat it. i am like a freak with the wipes. i have witnessed my daughter feed a goat with those bottles and then put it right into her mouth. omg you should have seen me! but what can you do? there are no guarantees of course, and i wouldnt go to a petting zoo that looks dirty or if the animals look like they are not taken care of, because i assume they are more likely to be sick. but i think seeing the animals is such a wonderful experience for kids, i wouldn't take it away. by the way, if you live on long island, white post farms in melville is wonderful. clean, safe, fun, a beautiful huge play area, tons to do, we spend the whole day. some days we dont even go over to the animals just because there is so much else to do. my advice is to keep it clean as much as you can, but have fun.