Warning of salmonella when buying baby chicks for Easter

LEWISTON, ID - If you're thinking about giving your kids a baby chick or a duckling for Easter, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare asks you to think twice.

State health officials are warning Idahoans to resist buying the baby fowl because they can pose a real health risk for young children and those with weakened immune systems.

"We have sent out a warning around Easter time for the past few years on this," said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Public Information Officer Emily Simnitt. "And the reason why we do that is because we do hear of cases of Salmonella here in Idaho and around the country around Easter time, and some of those cases have been directly linked to handling of baby chicks."

Simnitt said children are the most susceptible to infection by Salmonella from chicks because they're most likely to put their fingers in their mouths after contact, and because their immune systems are still developing. She says washing your hands is always a good idea if you do handle poultry.