(HealthDay News) -- Household pets can carry germs that can be transmitted to people.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help prevent the problem:

  • Avoid touching animal waste. Carefully and thoroughly wash your hands after cleaning up from pet waste.
  • Don't let children play in uncovered outdoor sandboxes in public areas, which may have been contaminated with animal waste.
  • Don't kiss pets on the mouth.
  • If you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, do not clean cat litter boxes or touch reptiles.
  • If you have a pet reptile, keep the cage clean. Always wash hands after handling the reptile or anything in its cage.