My little girl is a 4 yo in love with Snake Discovery on YouTube. After begging for her first pet snake for months, I finally found 1 which would work for us: a Rosy Boa. All the local Pet Stores had nothing but Ball Pythons for a looooonnnng time this year, & while I know they have great temperaments, I have held a full-grown 1, & to me it was heavy. I wanted to find something a little less hefty but still calm for my daughter to grow up with. When a local Pet Shop finally found a few Rosy Boas from a local breeder, I was really happy with the apparent health and very calm nature of this chilled out little snake. Evelyn is over the moon in love with’Slithers’, & since we have added her to our home, we have actually had to enforce handling time limits for the sake of the poor snake like some parents do with screen time! Because my little girl wants to hold her snake SO often for SO long, I decided adding another great beginner snake to our family would be a good idea. Last week, I had a pair of Puget Sound Garter Snake Neonates shipped to me from @Calvinscreatures here on Morph Market. They’re still settling in & quarantined in a separate room in our home. Because the male is less than enthusiastic about eating so far, so I don’t stress them out by allowing handling yet. So, for now, these adorable babies are nameless, but here are pics of Evelyn & her beloved Slithers and our tiny baby Garter Snakes. Thank you for being a great community for people who love reptiles to share information & such an awesome place to find amazing breeders!
I wouldn’t recommend small colubrids like garters (especially baby garters) being held by any child under the age of 8. Babies are extremely fragile, fast and skittish, and young children can easily hurt them. I honestly don’t recommend small reptiles for any small child given if anything does go wrong then it usually means the death of the animal. I would say 5 years old is minimum for larger species because they can take rough handling, and 8 for small species/babies.
Their ribs can be a lot more delicate than you would think, and rosy boas are known for being very fond of food. My rosy has mistaken my fingers for food on more than one occasion. I am able to keep calm and not freak out because it doesn’t really hurt me, but the same can’t be said for a small child.
Glad that your little one has taken a interest in reptiles early on. As far as what @ashleyraeanne said I have to agree but also think as long as you supervise and teach her that she is holding a delicate animal like a garter then I think it can be a do able pet for a younger child but if you did want a reptile you wouldn’t have to worry about her accidentally mishandling than I would recommend that you reconsider a ball python. I had one growing up since I was about 7 and never had any problems with it being too strong or my parents having to worry too much about me mishandling accidentally.