The American Academy of Pediatrics says that non-traditional pets, especially reptiles, may be a big problem for young children. The specific concerns are about diseases like salmonella, E. coli, or even monkey pox, that can be passed from animals to humans.
Veterinarian, Dr. Patricia Joyce, says, "I think most folks are pretty aware of reptiles carrying salmonella, it's pretty common, they are definitely not ideal pets for kids who are still working out their understanding of hygiene".
The group is recommending against exposure to what they call "non-traditional" pets at home and even in petting zoos for children under the age of five and any child with a compromised immune systems. Non-traditional pets include rodents, reptiles, monkeys, and illegal exotic animals.
Animal experts argue it is as simple as responsible pet ownership- a little parental supervision, good hygiene, and common sense.