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Make Healthy, Safe Choices To Have A Spooktacular Halloween

By Kevin Watler, Public Information Officer

October 25, 2022

WEST CENTRAL, FLA – The Florida Departments of Health in West Central Florida are reminding residents and visitors to make safe and healthy choices this Halloween.

Halloween can be a tremendous source of fun for kids and adults, but never forget that it’s also important to make choices that promote health and safety. Costume, traffic, and food safety are essential for trick-or-treaters.

Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility. Glow sticks bracelets, and necklaces can be used.
Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises or allergic reactions. Toxic ingredients have been found in cosmetics marketed to teens and tweens, so be sure to check the source.
Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.

Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Often times, lack of visibility because of low lighting plays a factor in these incidents.
Remember to instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
It’s important to put electronic devices down because the light can be distracting, which may cause tripping or a lack of foot or vehicle traffic awareness.

Whether it’s commercially or personally wrapped, parents should inspect all treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. When in doubt, throw it out!
Because some people choose to create homemade treats for trick-or-treaters, parents should evaluate each item before it is consumed.
Children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating, so give them a light meal or snack before they head out; don’t send kids out on an empty stomach. 

Food safety
With the rise in colorful fentanyl pills reported, parents may be concerned about rainbow fentanyl being a major risk factor in Halloween candy as trick-or-treaters go door-to-door. According to the DEA, there has been no evidence to warrant the concern that fentanyl is being targeted at kids; however, as with any Halloween candy, it’s important for parents to remember to inspect the collected candy for anything suspicious.

Healthy options for trick-or-treaters
Fruit snacks
Applesauce pouches
Raisin boxes
Granola bars
Banana chips
Mini-water bottles
Trail mix
Mini playdoughs
Pencils & erasers
Plastic jewelry

After all the candy has been collected, and the last trick-or-treater has gone to bed, parents need to be aware of how to moderate kids’ candy consumption. Childhood obesity and Type II diabetes are on the rise, so monitor how much candy kids are eating. Parents may want to consider limiting candy to a small number of pieces each day or week. Another idea is to donate candy to organizations that distribute candy to the less fortunate and soldiers in the armed forces.

Halloween presents a fun time for parents and kids to enjoy spending quality time together, and by making safe, healthy choices, friends and family can continue to create spooktacular memories for years to come.

West Central Florida Departments of Health contact information:

DOH-Citrus     (352) 527-0068
DOH-Manatee  (941) 748-0747
DOH-Hardee    (863) 773-4161
DOH-Pasco      (727) 619-0300
DOH-Hernando (352) 540-6800
DOH-Pinellas     (727) 824-6900
DOH-Highlands  (863) 386-6040
DOH-Polk          (863) 519-7900
DOH-Hillsborough  (813) 307-8000
DOH-Sarasota    (941) 861-2900



About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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