While the ability to deal with the responsibility of owning a pet typically depends on the child, anywhere from 8 to 10 is a good starting age for a pet hamster. A child is usually capable of responsibility and empathy and can learn how to handle small animals.
Hamsters do not make good pets for young children, especially those under the age of 5. This is because rodents and other small animals can transmit salmonella through their feces. Small children are more susceptible to the disease caused by these dangerous bacteria and are more likely to develop serious illnesses as a result.