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Published on March 29, 2022

kids enjoying easter egg hunt outdoors

Make Safety Part of the Fun of Easter Celebrations

Finding a basket of goodies on Easter morning is a treat for children of all ages. Adults are tasked with finding exciting, entertaining things, but above all – we want those baskets of treats and toys to be safe.

When my kids were much smaller, I had to be sure that every basket was free of candy or toys that could be a hazard to my youngest. With children of varying ages, I had to consider carefully, knowing that once the basket was dumped out, it was fair game for any of the kids to play with anything.

Safe Toys for Easter Baskets

Anyone filling an Easter basket for a child should carefully consider each item or toy. Toys are designed for kids in a certain age range. These age guidelines appear on the packaging, and we should follow them. The American Academy of Pediatrics reminds us that age guidelines consider the safety of a toy based on any possible choking hazards.

Toys with small parts, small balls or marbles, hair bows or hair ties are just a few of the things that babies and young toddlers may put into their mouths. Children are often interested in something new, and that was my concern for my youngest daughter. I didn’t want her to play with a toy that was designed for an older child.

A simple example is a stuffed animal toy. Every plush toy of this type should have eyes that are securely attached. If one of its plastic or ceramic eyes were to come off, the child could face the risk of choking.

Easter Basket Candy or Food

Peanuts, other nuts, eggs or dairy are common ingredients in Easter treats. I have a nephew who is allergic to eggs, and a niece who has a peanut allergy. That’s why I choose mostly non-food items for baskets when they’re celebrating with us.

Keeping in mind their ages, I put together baskets that contained a new summer beach towel, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, new summer pajamas, sand buckets and shovels or perhaps sunglasses and a book.

Another non-food approach is to include art supplies like:

  • Markers and crayons
  • Glitter glue
  • Paints and colored paper
  • Sticker kits

If you go this route, make sure the art items are non-toxic and approved for children.

Something for All the Kids (and Family)

I remember that when I was a kid, the Easter bunny would bring our family a new movie or a game we could all play. Older children may appreciate a handmade coupon in their basket, such as a trip to the zoo, butterfly house or local museum or park. Be sure to mention that the “ticket” will include lunch and snacks, thus making it a special one-on-one date with you and your child.

Learning about something your child likes along with them can be a good way to bond.

Stay Safe Even at Big Easter Events

Spring weather makes us all want to enjoy the outdoors. If you are planning to gather with family, friends or the community at an Easter egg hunt, remember that safety rules still apply. If candy is hid inside plastic eggs, be sure that an adult checks it before a child eats it, just like Halloween treats.

Some things found inside the eggs might not be safe for younger children. Items like small plastic toys or bouncy balls, small jelly beans, hard candies and gum are choking hazards. Make sure that small children are within sight at all times, as they may wander away from the egg hunt.

As we enjoy time spent with family, it’s not really about the goodies – it’s about the memories we are creating.

Twila Perkinson is a Family Life Educator with Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

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