posted August 1, 2005
Pet turtles may be harmful to your children's health, according to the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine. The FDA CVM has posted a flier on its Web site this month to help educate consumers about the risks.
Salmonella are naturally occurring bacteria in turtles that can cause the disease salmonellosis in humans. Parents are reminded that the sale of small turtles for pets is illegal and to be on alert for turtles in petting zoos, parks, child daycare facilities, or other locations where children may be. Finally, parents are encouraged to wash children's hands thoroughly with soap and water if they handle turtles or come in contact with their housing.
To obtain a copy of the flier, log on to www.fda.gov/cvm/CVMConsumers.html and click on "Pet Turtles May be Harmful to Your Children's Health."