Should children have pets?

While animal interaction is healthy for most children it is important to find a pet appropriate and suitable for the family and their living arrangemets, as well as any other people who may be affected by the decision. The physical and mental welfare of the animal, naturally, must be a major consideration - most pets need plenty of human interaction, excercise, food and cleaning as well as many other tasks - who will be responsible for this extra work? Much thinking and planning is required before a pet is adopted.