Easter Sunday means baskets filled with chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and marshmallow chicks. And for many of us, the holiday wouldn’t be the same without an Easter egg hunt. This classic Easter activity is a great way to make memories with family and friends.
If you’re hosting this year’s Easter egg hunt, you may have concerns about safety. We’ve put together these seven safety tips to help you keep everyone safe and healthy during your hunt.
1. Practice food safety
Always cook eggs thoroughly and refrigerate them before and after dying. If you’re blowing out the raw eggs and dying the shells, use a straw or choose pasteurized eggs to avoid salmonella exposure. Wait to hide your eggs until just before the hunt is scheduled to start: you should consume boiled eggs within two hours of removing them from the refrigerator. If you’re worried about using hard-boiled eggs, consider replacing them with plastic eggs and hiding toys and treats inside instead.
2. Color Easter eggs safely
Creating unique Easter egg designs is a favorite Easter tradition. To dye Easter eggs safely, make sure everyone washes their hands before and after handling the eggs. Eggs that have cracked during cooking are an easy target for bacteria, so avoid coloring or eating those. Use only food-grade dyes, or make your own from grape juice, tea, beets, blueberries, turmeric, or other natural products.
3. Watch out for choking hazards
If you decide to use plastic Easter eggs, avoid filling them with any possible choking hazards. Safe Easter ideas for toddlers include bath toys, stickers, toy cars, hair accessories, sidewalk chalk, and treats like fruit snacks, cereal, and animal crackers. All children — especially those aged five and under — should be supervised when eating candy. For toddlers, avoid hard candy and jelly beans.
4. Protect those with food allergies
Ask parents if any kids with food allergies will be attending your Easter egg hunt. If so, it’s easier than ever to accommodate them. Peanut-, dairy-, and gluten-free candy are readily available. For kids with nut allergies or an allergy to chocolate, provide alternatives like popcorn, cheese crackers, gummy bears, licorice, or marshmallows. Filling plastic Easter eggs with small, safe toys instead of — or in addition to — treats can also help mitigate any allergy-related disasters.
5. Avoid outdoor dangers
Before hiding your Easter eggs, walk through the area and remove hazards such as garden tools, hoses, and chemicals. Create boundaries to keep kids from wandering too far. Hide eggs away from areas that could have come into contact with wild animals, birds, or lawn chemicals.
6. Keep animals safe
If your four-legged friends are joining in on the fun, be sure to keep chocolate, Easter grass, and plastic off the ground and out of their reach. Remind children not to feed candy to dogs.
7. Provide safe, alternative Easter activities
Easter egg hunts are classic, but if you’re still worried about the safety of hosting your own hunt, consider playing some alternative Easter games. Guess the number of jelly beans in jar, play hide and seek, compete in an Easter egg spoon race, play pin the tail on the Easter Bunny, or make up your own egg games.
Every spring, kids and grownups look forward to Easter egg hunts. By following these simple tips, you can host a fun, safe, and memorable Easter Sunday for your loved ones.