Ball pythons are fantastic pets for children (with 100% parental supervision).
How many times have you heard your son or daughter say "Mom/Dad, I want this puppy so bad! I promise that I will play with him, feed him and take him out for walks EVERY DAY!"? How often did that really happen? Most kids are simply not readily for a daily commitment like that.
However, ball pythons actually get stressed from too much handling. So if your son or daughter only takes the ball python out to handle every couple of days -that's just great. Any more often and the ball python begins to get very stressed which leads to sickness.
Baby/Juvenile ball pythons get fed once a week. Sub-adults and adult ball pythons get fed once every two weeks. So daily care is minimal. I'd never condone forgetting to feed your ball python, however, if your son or daughter did forget to feed the ball python one week, a ball python of any significant weight will be still be healthy, just a little hungry.
So ball pythons fit into a child's reasonable responsible abilities better than a lot of other pets as long as there is adult supervision. You also have to admit ball pythons are SuPA-Coolz looking pet, right?
Ball pythons, to be honest, are the 'woosies' of the snake world. They would rather ball up and cower than strike. Striking is an absolute last resort, rarely happens and their bite is not much to be scared of. They have tiny teeth and barely break the skin.
However, Parents, please do not ever let your children handle their ball python alone. Please also do everything you can to make sure the enclosure is escape proof and that your child cannot get into the ball python's enclosure by themselves. A lock on the enclosure opening is a great safeguard. My herp building is always locked, alarmed and the only key hangs around my neck. I don't want any accidents happening and I will do everything I can to prevent one from happening. I hope you will do the same.
Ball pythons can be fantastic pets that teach kids so much, including responsibility, but parental supervision is required. I hope you will give a captive bred ball python a chance, you won't regret it! I've had people at my house that were scared to death of snakes and within 15 minutes, I had them holding one confidently. Ball pythons are different than what you read about in the news.