I think children should be allowed to handle docile snakes, but I would personally only let a child who was related to me (my daughter or one of my nieces) actually HANDLE one of the snakes, because it's easier to take responsibility with relatives than with someone else's kids. When I was a teenager, I babysat two mentally handicapped kids, and I have a huge soft spot for them as well, but because they sometimes get carried away when they are excited, and don't always possess the same levels of restraint as a non-handicapped person, I'd be more apprehensive to let them fully handle a snake, no matter how docile. Use your judgement though; if the kids can be reasoned with and instructed on how to properly handle snakes, I think you should absolutely let them. I think everyone should have that opportunity.
- Ken LePage