During a day trip to London I went to the London Aquarium. As was expected on a Sunday, it was packed, mainly with parents and kiddies. What I noticed and what alarmed me quite a lot is that every single parent was instilling in their kids FEAR of the sharks that were in one of the large central tanks.
Parental cries of "OOH look Katie, A SHARK!!! Ooohhh look at THAT, isn't it SCARY!!!" and "look look, here it comes again! Oooh look at it's TEETH Steven!" went on and on, and immediately each child was mock-screaming whenever a shark swam past. One little girl started crying, her dad had scared her so much banging on about poor Sharkie. "Nothing will happen while Daddy's here" he assured her....I wished something WOULD happen and someone would give him a slap for being so ignorant and for passing that ignorance onto his kids. Steven Spielberg has a lot to answer for!
Sharks are NOT carnivores nor do they feed on a diet of humans. Yes there have been incidents of shark attacks but they are very rare, and probably a case of mistaken identity (human, not seal, *CHOMP*, oops!). Parents should be telling their kids the other amazing and fascinating facts about sharks, like Great White Sharks can go as long as three months without eating, or more people are killed each year by dogs, pigs and deer than by sharks.
Give them all the facts and a balanced view of what a shark is. I'm sure that next time Little Timmy is told to go swim in the sea by Daddy he will stand and blub because he's scared a shark will come along and bite his bum.