Before You Get Your Kids a Pet Turtle, You Need to Read This! by Donna John
While the sale of small turtles was banned in the U.S. 40 years ago due to Salmonella infections mostly in kids, a CDC analysis found that the ban on turtles less than 4 inches did reduce turtle-associated Salmonella illnesses, but outbreaks continue to occur.
Between 2011 and 2013, 473 illnesses in 41 states were reported, and most of the turtle-associated salmonellosis still involved young kids, probably because kids are more likely to touch their mouths while playing.
Bottom line? It may be safer to get a furry pet and skip the turtles.