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Many people have started keeping chickens and other fowl at home. They are a great source of fresh eggs, don't take much special care, and can be quite funny and charming. However, you should be careful when you or your children are handling them. Most chickens naturally carry salmonella and could easily pass it to your family. It doesn't make the birds sick, but infected people get flu-like symptoms. Salmonella is especially dangerous for older people, small children, or people who have a weakened immune system.
Safety recommendations include thorough hand-washing after touching chickens or eggs and to avoid kissing or cuddling with the birds. This might be a good place to use antibacterial gel, especially with children who may place their hands in their mouths. The birds should live outside in a protected coop instead of being allowed in your home. Eggs should also be thoroughly cooked before eating and produce shouldn't be collected in areas the chickens frequent. Following these recommendations should allow you to keep your family safe from these feathered friends.
For more information, check out this link from the CDC.