Tag Archives: reptile safety

Children and Large Snakes at an Asian Zoo

By Erika Chen-Walsh

These photos were taken at an Asian zoo.  Herp Alliance is posting them, not because we condone them, but because we invite a discussion on what is responsible and what is safe. Our records indicate that there has been no harm to a child by a snake in the context of an educational encounter, a zoo or a circus, at least since 1990 in the United States, suggesting that self policing by the people and organizations responsible for these opportunities have been successful in protecting the public.  Nonetheless, we invite your comments on these photos and on this topic here or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HerpAlliance.








Hot Dogs Cause More Annual Deaths Than Captive Reptiles

By Erika N. Chen-Walsh

hotdogcancerAccording to the policy statement published by Pediatrics on February 23, 2010, more than 10,000 children under the age of 14 go to the emergency room each year after choking on food and approximately 77 of them die.  Seventeen percent of those children, or more than 13 children per year, choke to death on hot dogs.

The actual odds that your child will choke to death on a hot dog are roughly, one in 181,230.

Captive reptiles of all varieties are implicated in the deaths of fewer than one human being per year.

The odds of being killed in a captive reptile incident (all kinds, including salmonella)  are only 1 in 4,040,294.

Peanuts Cause More U.S. Deaths Than Captive Reptiles

By Erika N. Chen-Walsh


According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, approximately 10 people die per year in the United States from peanut allergies.  And many schools continue to serve peanut butter and peanut products to children.

Captive reptiles cause fewer than one death per year in the United States.

A Comparison With Injuries From Home-Improvement Equipment

1-Logos_Revised_2_BW-002Captive reptiles are safer than toilets.
Equipment Year Number of
Nails, screws, tacks, and bolts 1996 198,849
Ladders 1996 138,894
Toilets 1996 43,687
Pruning, trimming, edging 1996 36,091
Chain saws 1996 13,458
Pliers, wire cutters, and wrenches 1996 15,957
Manual-cleaning equipment 1996 14,386
Power grinders, buffers, and polishers 1996 13,458
Buckets and pails 1996 10,907
Room deodorizers and fresheners 1996 2,599
Toilet-bowl products 1996 1,567
Paints or varnish thinners 1996 1,549
Captive Reptiles 1996 6

Source of home-improvement equipment injury data: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC, U.S.A. (1997).