They may be adorably cute, but experts are warning parents against including animals such as baby chicks or rabbits in Easter baskets for children.
Health officials in New Mexico have made public announcements discouraging the practice of gifting children with baby chicks on Easter, as the tiny animals are known carriers of the highly dangerous salmonella bacteria. The Center for Disease Control has released a report that more than fifteen children have been diagnosed with salmonella over the past four years directly linked with the handling of baby chicks.
New Mexico health officials have urged stores who sell livestock not to sell baby chicks to parents who are looking to give them as gifts to their children for the holiday. Most households are not equipped with the necessary equipment to care for the animals, including baby rabbits, and many die within days, leaving children traumatized. The New Mexico Department of Health also advises families to have children wash their hands thoroughly with supervision after handling Easter chicks and warns not to allow kids under five to touch the birds, as they are at a greater risk of contracting harmful infections.