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Do Tell: Have You Owned "Exotic Pets" As a Child?

Do Tell: Have You Owned "Exotic Pets" As a Child?

Now a hamster's hardly an exotic pet in my mind but, according to a recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of five shouldn't own any exotic animals – including those furry rodents!

Turns out lizards, tiny turtles, lil chicks, and even hamsters can transmit Salmonella to kiddies. Now, it's hard for me to figure out where the "under five" comes in, but the study says it's due in part to the fact that they often touch animals then touch their mouths, kiss creatures, or don't wash their hands after coming in contact with the pets. Granted adults are usually more careful about cleanliness – though, admittedly I don't run to the bathroom every time I pet North – but I imagine these pets are still fairly common in families with human children?

Many of you already shared the pets present in your elementary classrooms. Did you ever come in contact with these creatures either at school or home?


Join The Conversation
drea-nicole drea-nicole 8 years
We had an iguana when I was really young. And I had 2 ducks when I was in middle school.
CoronaLove CoronaLove 8 years
we had them all. I used to carry ducklings in a big purse when I was a little kid.
albeli albeli 8 years
I had a turtle and a house sparrow. No problems. I go sick from a domesticated house cat.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
Oh, and hermit crabs. I hated those things, but my brother thought they were great until he held one wrong and it pinched his palm.
colormesticky colormesticky 8 years
We had tortises, hamsters, a couple birds, hedgehogs, a goat (yes, he was a pet), the goat had his own chicken, a horse, and a house trained rabbit. Not all at the same time. :p
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 8 years
...oh yeah...and mice!
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 8 years
My family always had a ton of animals when i was growing up: gerbils, hamsters, lizards, rabbits, cats, dogs...
lemonbars lemonbars 8 years
I had several hamsters, a mouse, and a frog when I was a kid. & I think I tried to keep a cricket for a while until my mom made me put it back outside, haha.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
We had a chameleon, sugar baby...hedgehog....ducks! Wild birds...hmmm I think that names all the weird animals...
kn_novak kn_novak 8 years
Goodness, I had everythingggg. My mom was from Australia, so there's was no limit to what kind of animal we owned. We had bunnies, rats, a goat named Friday, two horses named Calypso and Strawberry, a pig named Chloe, tons of snakes and a tarantula named Charlotte. And no, I didn't grow up on a farm, I grew up in a house with a veryyyy spacious backyard in a beack town near San Diego. Can it really be that bad?
couture-yourself couture-yourself 8 years
we had a ton of rats, birds, and hermit crabs growing up.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
We had different farm animals for most of my life. An iguana was donated to my elementary school. Everyone loved him! We've had rats, hamsters, birds, also babysat turtles for a summer.
LadyP LadyP 8 years
I've had a hermit crab and a turtle. :) Of course, we had the traditional cats, dogs, birds and fish too.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
I had hamsters, parakeets, and my mom always brought home chicks from school right after they hatched.
JessNess JessNess 8 years
We had an iguana that we found in the backyard and a turtle which was given to us. If the kids are under five they should probably be supervised when playing with "exotic" pets anyways so then the supervisor should make them wash their hands
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I had parakeets, does that count?
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