Canada's Condominium Magazine
Easter is right around the corner, and children are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Easter Bunny and the baskets of goodies that he brings. Parents are anticipating family get-togethers, dinners, and hours of fun watching their children hunt eggs and attending family-oriented events. As we prepare for the holiday, the following tips can go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable Easter for everyone.
Goodies Should be Safe for Consumption
Although the first thought to cross one’s mind during the holidays is generally not concerns for safety, it is important to be cautious, especially with young children. A primary concern during the holidays is the type of treats that children are given.
During Easter, plastic eggs are typically filled with candy. Baskets also contain an assortment of treats and toys. Certain toys and treats, however, are a choking hazard. While small candies are an obvious threat to very young children, such as jawbreakers and lollipops (which can break off the stick and get lodged in the child’s throat) some are hazardous to children of all ages.
If holiday plans include outings with children other than your own, then it is important to be prepared for anything. While we know our own children and what they can and cannot consume, we may be clueless as to the allergies and other health issues that everyone else may have. Avoid candy that contains peanuts and other foods that may cause allergic reactions, just in case. Check labels to make sure that the candy is not produced in a factory that also produces nuts or other allergens.
Map Out the Hunting Grounds
When preparing for the egg hunt, be sure to map out the grounds. Know where you will be placing eggs and make sure that they are hidden in areas that do not pose any risks. Avoid areas that may be too close to water. Do not place eggs too close to areas where little ones should not go. If possible, a separate hunting area for smaller kids will ensure both have a fun time, while keeping older kids from taking all the eggs and preventing the little ones from attempting to crawl through fences or climb trees for eggs meant for the bigger kids.
Food Safety is a Must
Proper food safety is important, and it is especially vital to use extreme care during the holidays when mounting stress and long To-Do lists can overwhelm us and make us a bit forgetful. When it comes to eggs, be sure to store them properly and keep them refrigerated until it is time to prepare them.
Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water before handling eggs during every step of the process. This includes cooking, cooling, dyeing, and hiding the eggs. Egg shells are porous, allowing for bacteria to penetrate. There is an increased risk after cooking, so be sure to rinse off the eggs after the hunt and again once the shells have been removed.
Eggs should also be refrigerated after cooking, until you are ready to dye them. Eggs left out for longer than two hours, or one hour in temperatures exceeding 32 degrees Celsius) should never be consumed. Do not colour or hide eggs that are cracked, even if it is only the shell. Use only food colouring or food-grade egg dyes and refrigerate the eggs once again immediately after dyeing.
Avoid areas where eggs could come into contact with dirt, pets or other animals, insects, or chemicals such as pesticides. The total time for hiding and hunting the eggs should not exceed two hours (or one hour in temperatures exceeding 32 degrees Celsius). Any eggs that are not consumed right after finding them should be refrigerated.
Use faux or plastic eggs for décor. If you prefer to use real, hard-boiled and dyed eggs for your centerpieces, then be sure to prepare extra eggs specifically for this purpose and dispose of them afterwards. Do not use real eggs if you have young children who may unknowingly eat them.