Kids can seem healthy, energetic, and resilient. Yet when it comes to food safety, they are extra vulnerable, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Take egg safety: Compared with adults, kids under age 4 are more than 4 times more likely to get a Salmonella foodborne illness.
Just recently (March 2012), 16 kids got sick with Salmonella in Canada, and three went to the hospital.
When a child gets sick from Salmonella—as in raw or undercooked eggs—the impact is very troubling. The AAP says that besides diarrhea and fever, a child can come down with meningitis or a heart infection. After the initial illness passes, there can be long-term effects, such as reactive arthritis or eye irritation.
Why food safety for kids?
If you’re wondering why kids, the answer is: Kids’ immune systems are still developing. Their bodies are less able to fight infections like Salmonella from eggs, says the AAP. Also, because of their low body weight, a few germs become, in effect, a bigger dose. And, they have less stomach acid than adults. Stomach acid sometimes helps destroy dangerous bacteria in food.
Kids under age 4 have the highest rates of food poisoning from all bacteria, including Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella, and others. From ages 4 to 11, the risk is still disproportionately high for some germs, like Salmonella.
Egg safety advice for kids
The AAP advises parents to take control of egg safety for kids, saying, “Don’t allow your child to eat raw or partially cooked eggs, or products containing raw eggs.”
Expert pediatricians explain, “If you follow the guidelines, you will go a long way toward helping your child, as well as the rest of your household, have fewer infections; fewer missed days of child care, school, and work; less frequent visits to the doctor; and lower medicine costs.”
When you’re preparing eggs and egg recipes for your kids, why not make the Safest Choice™?