Monday, October 25, 2010

Be safe this Halloween

Halloween will be here this weekend. Here are some tips to make sure it's a healthy, fun holiday.

This Fact Sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics has a lot of great safety information -- from pumpkin carving to costumes to actual trick-or-treating activities -- in simple bullet points. US CDC and FDA have similar advice.


Check out these resources for additional information:

Costumes

When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
For more safety information, read this US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Halloween Safety Alert.

Does your costume involve face paint or other makeup? Make sure you check out FDA's website on novelty makeup before you apply it.


Candy and Treats

Some candies have recently been recalled due to allergy and safety concerns. Stay on top of FDA's recalls. Chocolate past its expiration date can cause illness -- check out this HealthFinder.gov article on shelf life.

These Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents include basis information about inspecting your children's candy and not accepting anything that isn't commercially packaged. It also describes how to avoid bacteria from apple cider and if you go bobbing for apples.

Does your child have nut allergies? Find out how you can make sure Halloween is safe and fun despite allergies.

Do you want to provide more nutritious treats? Here are some excellent ideas from Clemson University Cooperative Extension in South Carolina.

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