Print Tricia Schmit, M.D.

At my house we just ran out of the Valentine’s candy a week or so ago.  This was immediately on the tail-end of depleting our supply of the Christmas candy and the Halloween candy before that.   I don’t know about your kids, but mine are beginning to think they get candy every single day.  (We try to ration it out.  And then it lasts forever.)

So, here we are, staring at Easter already and ….More candy.  I am on a mission to hunt down alternatives which I can suggest to the Easter bunny this year.  These are my top items so far:

  1. Pencils.  My kids love pencils.  We use them for homework all the time.  Since our dog likes to steal them and eat them, you can never have too many.
  2. Grippers or erasers for those pencils.
  3. Little books with word searches and other games.
  4. Coloring books.
  5. Sidewalk chalk.
  6. Stuffed animals.
  7. Bubbles.
  8. Crafts.
  9. Bouncy balls, etc.

I still feel the need to have a chocolate bunny for the kids, and some jelly beans.  I am a fan of “everything in moderation.”  I don’t want to keep it all from my kids, I think they need to learn some self-restraint and how can you learn that if you never have the opportunity to practice?  They also can figure out some basic budgeting skills (and bartering) with their little stash of goodies.

Be careful considering the options that your Bunny provides, some items may be more trouble than they are worth.   Here are some things to consider:

  1. Little toys/greeting cards with batteries—tiny “button” batteries can cause a lot of problems if swallowed by kids or put into different orifices (up the nose, in the ear, etc).  They irritate/burn/erode tissue and have to be removed (sometimes surgically).  The National Battery Ingestion Hotline (operated by the National Capital Poison Center) estimates that 3500 people in the US swallow these types of batteries per year (and it noted “of all ages”—it’s not always just the toddlers—I’ve seen plenty of older kids who “should have known better” with different items shoved in strange places.)
  2. Those fun little super-strong magnets—these also can wreck havoc if swallowed (they can bind together through different parts of the intestine and then cut off the blood supply to that area and then may also have to be surgically removed).  According to the US Public Interest Research Group, there were approximately 1700 ED visits because of magnet ingestion between 2009-2011.

Hopefully, this Bunny will get creative and hide the eggs with some type of scavenger-hunt type theme.  Or maybe he/she could concoct some type of obstacle the kids could have to overcome to get to those eggs—maybe make them do something active in order to earn the prize.  It may happen.  If that ole Bunny gets organized.

Dr. Tricia Schmit is a pediatrician with Alegent Creighton Clinic at Lakeside in Omaha. She blogs a few times each month on BlogAlegent.com and momaha.com.



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