Every year millions of children are on a quest to find their decorated Easter eggs, candy and gifts. As parents we can’t help but give our children a little better challenge each year, sometimes not thinking of the safety factor.
So before you start getting out your 24-foot extension ladder or unscrewing that 100 watt light bulb and replacing it with an egg, the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) has a few great safety tips to help you have a fun and safe Easter.
General Safety Tips:
- Be sure that Easter toys and dolls (such as bunnies, chicks etc) are free of choking hazards. Pieces that can be removed from a doll or toy pose a potential choking danger to small children.
- To prevent choking do not give small candies or chocolates to children less than 5 years of age.
- Chocolate Bunnies are an Easter tradition but, be very careful when giving such gifts to children who are peanut or nut allergic. Make sure to read the label of contents, as many chocolates, although said to be “pure chocolate”, may have been in contact with nuts or peanuts during their preparation or packaging.
- Chicks, ducks and bunnies may be cute, but they don’t make good Easter gifts.These animals can carry bacteria that can make your child sick.Children shouldn’t kiss or hold a sick bird or bunny. These pets can carry salmonella and other illnesses.
- Easter pets are not in the child’s best interest, but they’re also not in the animal’s best interest. Children can seriously harm rabbits and chicks by mishandling them. A few weeks after Easter, animal shelters are overwhelmed with rabbits that people no longer want.
General Egg Safety Tips:
Eggs are a hazardous food, in the same category as meat, poultry, fish, and milk. In other words, they are capable of supporting the rapid growth of disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella.
- Before boiling eggs for Easter decorating/painting, they must be kept refrigerated. Never leave raw eggs in any form at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Don’t eat or cook with cracked eggs or eggs that have been unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
- Hard-boiled Easter eggs left in room temperature for many hours or days as a decoration or table centerpiece should be discarded and not eaten.
- Use only clean, unbroken eggs. Discard dirty or broken eggs. When you boil your eggs, make sure the water is hot (185-190 degrees F). Cool your eggs in cold water or in the air.
- Washing your hands, utensils and work surfaces prevents the spread of bacteria. Always wash your hands when handling your eggs, especially between cooking, cooling and dyeing.
Egg Hunting Safety Tips:
- Do not hide eggs near an electrical outlet or plugs.
- Do not hide eggs in light sockets
- Do not hide eggs in, on, under or around glass.
- Keep eggs at or below eye level of the children.
- Keep count and track of the eggs you hid.
- Do not hide eggs in pre-existing holes in the ground or trees.
- Do not hide eggs in any foliage that has thorns, looks dangerous or poisonous. (Rule of thumb: before you put eggs in foliage; make sure you know it by name).
- Do not hide eggs in any animals home, food bowl or play area.
- If the grass, foliage, or any place in the yard has had pesticides or herbicides sprayed on them, don’t hide eggs there.
- Throw away eggs that show cracks or damage.