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Old 09-11-03, 10:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The same could be said about any dog, cat, guinea pig or hamster. How many kids are bitten by their friends pets? Tons. Legally you are responsible for any DAMAGE done by your pets, regardless of what that pet is. We're still talking about baby ball python here not a 12 foot Egyptian cobra right? What could it do? Still a good idea to talk to the parents first before having their kids come into your house for any reason. Stange adults inviting their kids kids into their houses can make parents uncomfortable animals or not.
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Old 09-11-03, 11:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree 101% with Ryan. You will have to play it by ear of course but I'm sure it will be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

But yeah, ask your girlfriend not to "obligate" you to such uncomfortable appointments.
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Old 09-12-03, 06:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for all the ideas. A waiver seems quite intimidating, but so does being sued because I THOUGHT my snake would be OK with it. I also have very little experience with mentally handicapped children, so I'm kind of assuming they may be a little more unpredictable than your average 5 year old.... I expressed my concerns to my gf last night, and also said that the children HAVE to have their parents' consent. The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get at my gf. The cat is hers, the snake is mine.

But I also think this could be a great experience for these children as well, and I would love to share my love of reptiles with them. We are rescheduling with the babysitter because I wasn't even going to be home. Thanks for the opinions and ideas, and keep them coming!

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Old 09-12-03, 08:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I routinely take several of my snakes to an area school for science class. It's for 7th grade, but usually ends up being pretty much all the upper grades. I have one snake, a BP, that the kids are allowed to touch, but no handling. The parents are aware that I will be there, and some of them come as well. But if someone's child gets bit, no matter who's falut it is, ultimately "I" am responsible. Do I want to get sued? NO. But even more, I do not want bad publicity for snake keeping nor do I want other children to be afraid of snakes if they see a friend get bit. Just not worth it in my book.
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Old 09-12-03, 09:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm still wondering what you could be sued for, even if the unlikely bite were to happen. The snake we're talking about here could cause very little damage. I've been bitten by much bigger snakes and had a hard time pointing to where it got me a couple hours later. Do parents normally sue if their kid gets scratched by a cat or nibbled by a guinea pig? That's the degree of harm we're talking about with that snake. I think it would be hard to sue for that and win anything. Are they gonna sue for the cost of a band-aid and some polysporin?
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Old 09-12-03, 09:48 AM   #21 (permalink)
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The problem with lawsuits is people seeking compense for "Stress and Trauma". That's where the money is. Alternately, they can also charge you with endangerment, which would be much nastier.
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Old 09-12-03, 11:59 AM   #22 (permalink)
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i would just say forget about it. if something goes wrong it is too much $hit to worry about.
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Old 09-12-03, 02:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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In Canada lawsuits are pretty well limited to actual losses like wages and rehab that isn't covered by your provincial plan. Stress and trauma are very hard to sue for. As for endangerment, well good God, we're talking about a BABY ball here, what endangerment?? Again, the risk of harm with a snake like that is simillar to the risk from a small pet rodent, if that. Cats and dogs are capable of far more harm and no one wonders whether they should get a waiver from a kid's parents before they pet the cat. You definitely ARE responsible for any harm that may come from any animal you own but the risks in the case of this snake are so small and remote that it's not even worth thinking too long about it.
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Old 09-12-03, 02:30 PM   #24 (permalink)
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My thing is that WE all understand the risks from a baby BP is small. Yes, WE as reptile people understand that.

BUT normal general public does not and frankly I can just imagine a child being bitten by a "python" and the uneducated parent FREAKING out.

Personally, I would rather avoid those problems with handicapped children and any children under the ages of 10. I just prefer not to allow actual holding. But teaching and petting I love to do with kids and help them learn.

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Old 09-12-03, 02:51 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The way I see it is yo uhave to control the unknown entities. When I let my kids (1.5 and 4) "handle" my corn snake, this means controlling the kids. The young one in particular I have to hold his hand, and keep my finger on his fingers to keep him from grasping or hitting while I help him pet it very gently. The four year old, I have to keep my hands very near in case she does anything sudden, but she gets to hold her in both hands if the snake is in a lethargic mood. If the snake is active, I let it crawl over her hands while I control the snake.

Whenever I go to the reptile zoo, and they bring out snakes for handling, they are always very careful to control the head of any snakes the public gets to touch or handle. The snake is more the unknown quantity in this case.

I dont know the maturity level of the kids you'll be dealing with, or the temperment of the snake, but I suspect you'll need to be in control of both, which may be a two person job.

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Old 09-12-03, 03:16 PM   #26 (permalink)
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How much could the parents freak out about the python bite if it doesn't even leave a mark?
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Old 09-12-03, 03:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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My 5 year old daughter has a 2 year old Ball (it was a baby when I got it for her) that she absolutely adores. She will sit for hours with it in her lap. It has never shown any agression towards me or my daughter. I hand feed it warmed frozen mice and I've never had an accidental feeding bite. Would I let another child hold it? Absolutely not. I've bred, studied, rehabed, collected and handled every sort of reptile for 35 years and I would NEVER tell someone that a given reptile would not bite. I have a friend that had to have a large part of his lower lip re-attatched because he was bitten by his 5 foot iguana that he had raised since it was a juvinile. Ironically, he was showing someone (a non herper) how tame it was when he was bitten. I don't know about the rest of you, but, I can't afford the kind of lawsuit that would come from a child being bitten on the face by one of my herps. Don't think your friends would sue you? Watch one Judge (insert name here) show and see some of the stupid crap people sue each other for every day. We are a minority. If it came to a suit, you would loose your butt. Gaaronteeed. I dont' know how things are in Canada, seems like they are a little more realistic. Here in the good ol' U.S. of A., you have to PAY to defend yourself from frivolous law suits. And even those can be heard buy a JURY. Will they be sympathetic to a small child? Or to a grown adult with an "EVIL" reptile? Here's a tip, DON'T BET ON THE REPTILE OWNER. like I said before, win or loose, you have to pay to defend yourself. Usually thousands of dollars. Still want to take your chances? Hell, here you may get sued just for letting a child NEAR your snake (traumatized child). Sounds dumb, but, thats why we have so many lawyers.

Last edited by Iguanakikembood; 09-12-03 at 03:34 PM..
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Old 09-13-03, 08:37 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I have many childeren over all the time to see and hold my snakes. First off they only get to handle certain snakes and they are given a quick lesson on how to hold the snakes. unfortunatly every once in a while there will be a accident. Even the calmest snake can bite.I think we have had two bites over the years one from an milk on a 6-7 yr old and the other was from a 36" burmese on a 13-14 yr old in both cases no one was greatly harmed, and at the time we just brushed it off as (you will live)LOL and in both cases the kids continued to handle the same snakes. All of the parents know that we allow the childeren to handle the snakes and realize that we are responable enough not to put their childeren in any danger.
Always make the kids clean their hands after handling the reptiles
I think a bite causing stitches would go over better then a kid catching samonella or somthing else.

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Old 09-13-03, 09:44 AM   #29 (permalink)
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if the snake doesn't leave a mark, it doesnt matter.. The child could go home and tell their parents. some parents just freak out about stuff like that.. A friend of mine use to do reptile shows, some kids would go home and tell their parents how it frightened them, and their parents would complain.. So it really doesnt matter about severity
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Old 09-13-03, 11:54 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Many good points have been made here. Personally I do shows for kids & anyone else who would like one. You will have to decide for yourself if you are comfortable with it though. If you decide to do it safety is your biggest concern for both your snake & the kids. You want to make future herpers here !!

When I am at home I place a sheet or blanket over my entire couch so no critter can sneak into it. I talk about the herp first & demonstrate & answer questions. Once everyone is all settled in I sit in the middle of the couch with a child on one or both sides of me (depending on their age/mentality). The herp starts off in my lap where they can touch it. We let it move over our laps & they can lift it gently back when it goes too far away. This way they are 'holding' as far as they are concerned but there are no worries of the critter being dropped to the floor & hurt/scared. They get lots of 'petting' time this way, too. Also the kids are not holding the critter up in the air & trying to see it or cuddle it or look at it's face or any such things; as this is when a bite would most likely occur. If the snake or whatever herp is roaming upon laps it is least likely to bite its' "substrate" & if it does then it will most likely get only a hand or arm as everything else in reach is clothed. You will also be in very close supervision of the whole encounter this way. Many kids I find I can reach right around with my own arm this way.

Good luck & I hope everyone has an enjoyable & memory-making experience !!
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Last edited by Darlene; 09-13-03 at 11:58 AM..
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