Rio Grande Turtle & Tortoise Club

are turtles good pets for children?

No. All species of turtles are exotic animals that require specialized care. They do not enjoy being picked up or handled, and they live a very long time, 40-100+ years, depending on the species. That's a lot longer than most children will remain interested in a pet...and a lot longer than they'll even be children! Finally, like all reptiles and birds, turtles can carry and transmit salmonella, a bacterial illness that can be fatal in susceptible individuals, which includes the elderly, people with immune problems, and children under the age of 5. This is not to say that turtles can't make great family pets, as long as there are adults committed to their proper care, and closely supervising all interactions with young children.