The Easter and Passover holidays are a joyous time of year and the period when parents and pet owners should beware of the danger of poisoning from common holiday-related items.
Here are some tips from the New Jersey Poison Control Center:
• Always wash hands with soap and water before and after handling raw foods.
• Perishable foods like raw/cooked meats, poultry, and seafood should be kept refrigerated. If left at room temperature for 2 hours or more, they should be discarded.
• Symptoms of food poisoning include: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills and fever, diarrhea, and weakness. Symptoms can occur 1-8 hours after eating “toxic” food.
• Raw eggs may carry the bacteria known as Salmonella. Cook eggs fully before decorating. If you use raw eggs for cookie dough or cake batter, be sure to use eggs pasteurized in their shells so licking the spoon may be safe. If you happen to touch the liquid inside of a raw egg, immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
Easter Egg Dye
• Be sure to use only food dye to color eggs; most of these are non toxic. Despite their lack of serious toxicity, children should be supervised at all times while decorating their eggs.
• Chocolate can be toxic to both cats and dogs. Symptoms include convulsions, heart problems, nausea, and vomiting.
• Be mindful that chewable "chocolate" laxatives look just like real milk chocolate. It’s difficult to tell the difference between the two so keep these laxatives locked up and out of children’s sight and reach. Swallowing laxatives can lead to excessive diarrhea and fluid loss. This is especially dangerous for young children.
• Keep away from young children and pets as this product can be a choking hazard. It can cause intestinal obstruction if ingested.
• Easter Lily: Keep away from pets. Poisonous to cats.
• Lily of the Valley: If ingested, this plant can cause heart problems.
If you suspect a poisoning may have taken place, the New Jersey Poison experts are may be reached on the Poison Helpline at (800) 222-1222.