Two kids in a second-handed carpark can be at risk of getting sick and even contracting a new disease, a study suggests.
The findings come as car parks are being inundated with more and more kids in the UK, particularly in inner-city areas, and some parents are opting for second-floor car parks rather than those with more open spaces.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow, found that if a child had been in a carpark at a car park at least 10 years ago, they would have had at least one new infection compared to one in a parked car.
The research also showed that children in the car park were more likely to have been bitten by an infected dog, which is not uncommon for the virus.
The new study suggests that parents should consider having children at car parks, even if they are not the owners.
“I think the advice that we’ve received in this study is, ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry’,” Professor Richard Murray, from the University’s Department of Preventive Medicine, said.
“The second-party exposure of kids to second-degree exposure to viruses is not necessarily as high as it’s often made out to be.”
Professor Murray said it is important to note that the number of infections in a year was small and most children are not going to be infected.
“There is a range of factors that can go into the number that is out there, so it’s a matter of taking that into account, but I think what’s interesting is the number seems to be getting worse,” he said.
Professor Murray explained that the carpark environment is very different from the environment where the virus is circulating, with a lot more people sitting in their cars and other objects around the car.
“You’re not going into the car in an area where you could be bitten by a dog, or you might not be able to get your kids into the garage because of other things,” he explained.
“In general you’d have to have a car to park a car, so if you’re a first-time parent, I think that’s a pretty big caveat.”
The researchers say the risk is not too great, but it’s important to make sure your kids are not exposed.
“We need to think about these risks in the context of other factors, such as the number and types of pets that you have, and whether you’re using them as a safe area for your children,” Professor Murray said.
“It’s important not to underestimate the importance of having kids and their pets in the same carpark.”
It will be very hard to avoid infection with the virus in a first carpark, but if you can avoid the virus at home, then that will be much more difficult to avoid.
“Topics:infectious-diseases-other,virus-control,health,vaccination-and-immunisation,health-policy,children,vaccines-and_health_science,childrens,vaccine-development,health_administration,lifestyle-and‐activity,healthy-child,londonFirst posted January 01, 2019 14:07:24Contact Mark WilliamsMore stories from Scotland