Having a tank of tropical fish, or a saltwater aquarium, can give your whole family many hours of enjoyment. Even young children will find the antics of neon tetras and the mysterious caves of catfish, to be fascinating. But as a parent, you may be concerned about issues of safety for your youngsters.
For very young children, the first thing you need to impress on them, is that they must not feed the fish, without help from Mommy or Daddy. Canopies are an essential piece of aquarium gear, and can pose hazards for little fingers, not to mention the fish. A toddler trying to lift a heavy canopy can get a hand caught, drop things in the tank, or even manage to dislodge the top and tip it into the tank while the lamp is plugged in and lit. By all means, let them “help” with chores, but impress on them that taking care of the fish, is something that has to be done together. A curious child left alone with a fully equipped aquarium is capable of disconnecting cords, pulling heaters out of the tank, causing them to crack or shatter, or damaging the glass by banging against it.
Another precaution to teach children, is sanitation. While there are few disorders/diseases that can be passed from a fish tank to humans, the water does contain bacteria not found in the child’s normal environment, so one of their first fish-keeping lessons, should be to always wash their hands after helping to clean the tank, or feed the fish.