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Red eared slider turtleA little homework is in order to successfully keep a turtle, and not all turtle species make good pets for children.

Aquatic turtles, in particular, usually require a full-scale turtle tank aquarium, specialized food (other than the occasional piece of lettuce) while other species need special lights (for basking) to keep their shells strong and healthy.

Land tortoises, which are long-lived, require extra space to roam and exercise, and are a major commitment that can last for years.

In addition to special care, another concern is Salmonella bacteria which is carried by some species that can sicken young children who don't wash their hands after playing with their beloved pet. The danger works both ways, as turtles are equally susceptible to viruses passed on by their human handlers.

If a pet turtle is still on your child's most-wanted list as a pet, choose among the smaller, hardier species such as the popular red-eared slider, the cooter, or the mud or musk turtle, and be prepared to accept most of the responsibility for its care.

More about pet turtle care & feeding around the Web:

On the Web, join up with other turtle enthusiasts in chats and forums, learn more about turtle tanks, pet care and feeding with advice on choosing the right one, and view picture galleries of user-submitted favorites ....

Turtle Times - Turtle central, with a directory of resources including turtle and tortoise photo galleries, pet equipment and supplies, turtle blogs, care sheets, online shopping and a very active forum.

How to Care for Box Turtles- Check out this guide with extensive information on care and feeding, setting up a turtle tank, a guide to moving and transporting pet turtles, related glossary, book reviews, pictures.

Melissa Kaplan's Herp Care Collection - Turtles & Tortoises - A good collection of collected articles and fact sheets on health issues, diet and living quarters for box turtles, red-eared sliders and soft-shell turtles.

The EMBL Reptile Database - Turtles, snakes and lizards are just some of the reptiles featured on this colorful herpetological index. If you love reptiles, you'll be a happy camper here learning their Latin names and details on hundreds of species.


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