Another child's death linked to pet turtle

United States
July 9, 2007 10:14am CST
Yet another child has lost thier life secondary to the family's pet turtle. This child was only three weeks old, which means that the mother's or father's hands were the likely source of contamination! Pet turtles are dangerous and I really feel they should be banned. What are your thoughts? Here is a link to the article. http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/dh/6101
9 people like this
21 responses
@GardenGerty (130280)
• United States
9 Jul 07
People are so sloppy about hand washing, it is sad. I imagine it is really sad for this particular family. I know that the turtles that were available in stores when I was a child are no longer available, but that does not stop people from catching them themselves and taking them home. It made me crazy when one of my coworkers at Head Start would bring her tree frogs, let the children handle them, and not really supervise whether or not hands were washed, and whether or not urine spots were cleaned up and sanitized appropriately. Everyone needs to be scrupulous about cleaning their hands after they handle animals. You know, even without all the knowledge we have today, my grandfather and grandmother washed their hands in bleach water several times a day. They did not have running water, they used a cistern, and a wash stand outside the kitchen door. We all washed each time we entered the house. To be especially safe, after contact with any animals, they added a capful of bleach to the water. They were very healthy, and we are not nearly so careful today. There may be laws enacted about pets, and information available, but we will not stop people from having the animals they want. They need to be educated about proper hand sanitation.
@sunshinecup (7873)
9 Jul 07
I think that is way they are banned in some states. I think at one time they were illegal to sell here in Kentucky. I am not sure if they are now or not. But yes, the dangers from the viruses they can carry are a very real and serious threat many are unaware of. I mean many know not to by their small child a put bull for a pet, but who would really think not a turtle? There needs to be more PR done on this and get the word out to the public IMO.
3 people like this
@inked4life (4225)
• United States
9 Jul 07
WOW!! I've never heard of that before. We have turtles that hang around our street in the wild and our kids are always picking them up. I'll need to let them know about this. That is scary indeed. The story was from Atlanta too and I never heard anything about it down here.
3 people like this
• United States
9 Jul 07
I have an iguana. I knew before getting him that he could carry salmonella. I do not let my children touch him without supervision, and then only the older 2 are allowed. They then have to wash their hands with soap and water, then use hand sanitizer. I do let my lizard out of his cage every day, but wherever he goes gets bleached when he's done. I am a hand washer. I wash my hands after I do anything in my house. I also bleach down anything that human hands touch, such as the phone, keyboard, mouse, door handles, etc. All my counters, tables, sinks, etc. in the kitchen are bleached every day. The dishes get a shot of bleach in the water when I'm doing them. I do this all to help prevent the spread of germs from any of our animals. We have 3 dogs, 4 hermit crabs, and iguana and a parakeet. I believe that any one of the animals could pose a health risk if not properly cared for and cleaned up after.
3 people like this
@NucknFutz (180)
• United States
11 Jul 07
When I read this title, all I could think of was a large Galapagos turtle rolling over on an infant (sorry!)
@brendalee (6083)
• United States
10 Jul 07
I remember having a turtle when I was young and I never had a problem. But my mom taught us to always wash our hands after touching him. Then they were banned and I haven't seen one since. Thats really sad about that baby.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
10 Jul 07
This is sad news. An infant only three weeks old was murdered by a pet turtle. I don't think a three week old baby can move around himself, it must be the turtle who came to the baby and killed him. What a sad story. But I think we can still have pet turtles, however the parents should keep it inside a locked place and never allow the keys to any reach of children.
2 people like this
@cher913 (25855)
• Canada
9 Jul 07
well awhile back my older daughter was younger, she wanted a pet turtle so we did research on it and found it was illegal to own them here in canada . then recently we went into a pet store and my younger daughter decided she wanted one when they were for sale there! i couldnt believe it. this pet store is selling illegal goods!! turtles contain samonella which is the leading cause of food poisoning amoung humans, why would you want to own one?
2 people like this
@ESKARENA1 (18296)
9 Jul 07
that is a really odd thing, ive never heard of a child dying of having a pet turtle? You are quite right, if children are dying, they certainly should be banned blessed be
2 people like this
@Feona1962 (7527)
• United States
9 Jul 07
I was thinking the same thing..the only way the child could have been contaminated was through the mother or father..possibly an older sibling...This is just so sad...Turtles should be banned...
• United States
11 Jul 07
I agree with you for two reasons. One, the health issue with humans. Two, for the freedom of the turtle.
1 person likes this
@jolenegreen (1209)
• United States
11 Jul 07
Well...I definatley wouldnt get a pet turtle...I can tell you that. But to ban them, naw I think that people would break the law anyways....obviusly.
1 person likes this
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
11 Jul 07
I don't think that pet turtles need to be banned, but obviously some people need to be educated in proper care and handling of their pets. Many people have cared for pet turtles for years with no problems. They aren't dangerous when handled correctly. Not only that but once we start banning pets, would it stop at turtles? I was told not to touch the litter box during pregnancy because of health hazards, so should we ban cats? I have heard stories of dogs attacking children, so should dogs also be banned? Once we start banning pets, where do we stop...
1 person likes this
@makingpots (11916)
• United States
11 Jul 07
Wow. Thanks very much for sharing this with us, crazynurse.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 07
This is very sad! I was considering getting my boys a turtle or a frog but am reconsidering it now. Even if they wash their hands thoroughly after handling it I'm afraid them may still get sick. Not to mention I have a three month old. Thanks for sharing this article!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 07
I learn something new everyday. I had never heard of that before. The article said the sale of turtles was banned 30 years ago. So I am assuming these must be wild ones. I had seen one in my yard bur I didnt think of touching it although I did put out some apple slices and it ate them before it moved on. Thanks for the info.
1 person likes this
@JoyfulOne (6240)
• United States
10 Jul 07
How terrible and how sad for those parents! Anymore, I kind of agree that they should be banned as pets, all it takes to reason is reading a story like this one. I used to have a couple turtles as pets as a child, but we were always told that if we touch the turtle we must wash our hands right after. You know, I really can't recall the turtle/salmonella problem with turtles when I was young. Makes me wonder if it's magnified by the state of our environment or something. What a horrible shock for those parents, especially knowing that it was their own negligence that probably caused this!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Jul 07
If people kept their hand clean and washed them like they should this kind of thing would not happend. Salmonella would not have been spread to the baby. Most germs would not be spread like they are. People we need to use water and friction, you did not need soap if you use enough water and soap. Tips to good handing washing. 1. Turn the water on to a warn temp not too hot or too cold. 2. Wet your hands, and lather with soap, you do not have to use an antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soap kills the good and the bad germs and makes super bugs. When washing hands making sure they are clean between your fingers, and under your fingernails as best as you can. 3. Rince your hands thoroughly 4. leave the water on while drying your hands. Use the dry cloth to turn the facet off. By doing this you are leaving your germs on the towel and not putting your germs from the facet back on your hands. 5. My tip I keep paper towels in my bathrooms at home. Yes it can be expensive but worth it when compay comes and we have colds. Germs are not passed to each other by the towels.
@bonbon664 (3469)
• Canada
9 Jul 07
I agree they should be banned. It's been known for years that they are a very common source of salmonella.
1 person likes this
@Strazo (4)
• United States
19 Jul 07
I Have 2 Turtles Still Babys People Who keep them should clean them every day 2 keep them clean people go who young children shouldnt have turtle risk of them puting them in their mouth or geting biten