Know what precautions to take during Easter activities
Easter egg hunts are a classic activity during spring. Dyeing eggs, hiding them, hunting for them and enjoying holiday food together can all be really fun activities for the kids and the family. To avoid illness or accidents during the festivities, it’s important to take precautions and be aware of danger while you’re having fun this Easter.
If you’re planning to use real eggs for the Easter egg hunt, keep in mind that if they’re not refrigerated, raw eggs can support the fast growth of disease-causing bacteria, like salmonella. To be safe, you can either boil the eggs or blow them out before dyeing them.
- If you’re planning to blow out the raw egg and paint the shells, try to use pasteurized eggs, or use a straw to blow so the raw egg doesn’t enter your mouth.
- Boil eggs for 10-12 minutes to ensure they’re fully cooked.
- If you’re using hard-boiled eggs for the hunt, wait until the last possible minute to hide them.
- If you’re planning to eat the hard-boiled eggs after the hunt, make sure to use edible food dye.
- Hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat for up to one week if they’re stored in the refrigerator, but they don’t last very long if they’re not refrigerated.
- Don’t eat eggs that have been outside for more than two hours or any cracked eggs.
Another idea is to use plastic eggs and fill them with candy and small toys. This is a great way to avoid issues with food safety, but there are still a few things to look out for:
- Avoid filling the eggs with toys that are too small or with hard candy, as these could be choking hazards.
- Make sure to account for possible food allergies: Provide nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives.
- Supervise children while they play with the toys from the eggs.
Another important tip is to check for any outdoor dangers in the area where the hunt will take place. Before hiding the eggs, make sure to check the area for tools, trash, glass, lawn chemicals or anything that could pose a potential danger to children. Then, set clear boundaries for where the search will take place, so that kids don’t wander too far.
Food safety is an important part of preparing foods for consumption, especially during the holidays. Remember to store and prepare foods properly. The danger zone for bacteria growth on foods is any temperature between 40 F and 140 F, because bacteria multiply very rapidly within this range. Heating dishes above 140 F will kill most pathogens, while storing or freezing food in temperatures less than 40 F prevents bacteria growth.
Allowing any refrigerated food, especially those high in protein (like meat or eggs), to sit at room temperature can be dangerous. You should discard any food left out for more than two hours, and if it’s a hot day (90 F), dispose of it after one hour. Use good judgment and don’t take risks with food in order to prevent food poisoning or other issues such as diarrhea.
Even though following these precautions can prevent most potential dangers, it’s important to have a plan if an emergency situation arises. A good way to do this is to be familiar with your nearest urgent care clinic. Velocity Care has walk-in clinics in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as in Louisiana in Shreveport, Bossier City and Natchitoches. The emergency-trained medical professionals are ready to help you when you need them.
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