FDOH and FDLE encourage Floridians to stay safe during Halloween

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Tallahassee, Florida — The Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) have teamed up to provide Halloween tips that encourage Floridians to make good choices about their health and safety while enjoying Halloween.

Candy and Treat Safety

Always watch what is in your child’s mouth when playing tricks.

  • Only eat factory-packaged treatsand never eat anything homemade from strangers.
  • Explore all the sweets for suffocation and handling hazards. Illicit drug makers may be targeting kids with candy pills, so parents should thoroughly check Halloween candy for unwrapped items and suspicious packaging.
  • Be careful with products containing THC, CBD, or other cannabis-related products that may resemble gummies or chocolate. While some of these products can be legally purchased by adults and should be properly labeled, children could accidentally consume them if not properly secured.
  • Remember: When in doubt, throw it out!

Costume safety

  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye specialist. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “No need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, serious eye disorders and infections that can lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or stripes to costumes and trick bags for added visibility.
  • Make sure the shoes fit well, and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with a heating source.
  • Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks. Make-up should be tested on a small patch of your child’s skin beforehand to make sure there are no allergic reactions.
  • Avoid any sharp or long swords, wands or poles as costume accessories. Your child can easily injure themselves with these accessories if they trip or trip.

Neighborhood safety

  • Report any suspicious activity local law enforcement agencies.
  • Trick or treat in groupsif possible, or attend public, organized events.
  • Never allow small children to visit the door without a trusted adult and teach children to never approach other people’s vehicles.
  • Children under 12 should not be left alone at night without adult supervision. If children are old enough to be outside unsupervised, they should stick to well-lit and familiar places.
  • Only approach well-lit houses where porch or outdoor lighting shines.
  • Watch out for vehicles. Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • Avoid shortcuts through backyards, alleys or parks.

Trick-or-Treat at Home Safety

If you’re planning to stay home and hand out treats to neighborhood kids this year:

  • Eliminate tripping hazards to keep your home safe from crooks. Keep the porch and front yard clear of anything a child could trip over, such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.
  • Check the outdoor lighting and replace any bulbs that no longer work.
  • Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps to prevent someone from slipping and falling.
  • Keep pets restrained so they don’t jump on the trick or bite him.

Alternative plans

For those who can’t go trick-or-treating, there are still plenty of activities to enjoy the holiday:

  • Carve or decorate pumpkins with family members and display them. Kids can draw faces with markers and parents can cut. Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light the pumpkin. If you use a candle, a votive candle is the safest. Do not place candle-lit pumpkins on a porch or in any path where visitors may walk nearby.
  • I’m doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given a list of Halloween-themed things to look for while walking outside from house to house admiring the Halloween decorations.

Additional resources for a safe and healthy Halloween can be found at the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Safety Council, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About the Florida Department of Health

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

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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