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

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


  • Consider adding reflective tape or stripes to costumes and trick bags for added visibility. Glow stick bracelets and necklaces can be used.
  • Make-up should be tested beforehand on a small piece of skin to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises or allergic reactions. Toxic ingredients have been found in cosmetics marketed to teens and teens, so be sure to check the source.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye specialist.


  • Children are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Poor visibility due to poor lighting often plays a role in these incidents.
  • Be sure to teach children to only travel in familiar, well-lit areas and stick to their friends.
  • It is important to put away electronic devices as light can be distracting, causing you to trip or lose awareness of pedestrian or vehicle traffic.


  • Whether commercially or personally wrapped, parents should check all treats for signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, small holes or tears in the packaging. When in doubt, throw it away!
  • Since some people choose to make homemade trick-or-treat treats, parents should evaluate each item before consuming.
  • Kids shouldn’t be snacking on treats from their bags when they’re out and about, so give them a light meal or snack before they head out; do not send children on an empty stomach.

Food safety

With the increase in reported colored fentanyl pills, parents may be concerned rainbow fentanyl is a major risk factor for Halloween candy as scammers go door to door. According to the DEA, there is no evidence to warrant concern that fentanyl is targeting children; however, as with any Halloween candy, it’s important that parents remember to check the collected candy for anything suspicious.

Healthy options for fraudsters

  • Fruit snacks
  • Apple juice pouches
  • Raisin boxes
  • Granola bars
  • Banana chips
  • Mini water bottles
  • Trail mix
  • Mini play dough
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Plastic jewelry

After all the candy is collected and the last trick is bedtime, parents need to be aware of how to reduce candy consumption in children. Childhood obesity and Type II diabetes are on the rise, so watch how many sweets the kids eat. Parents may want to consider limiting sweets to a small number of pieces each day or week. Another idea is donate candy to organizations that distribute candy to the less fortunate and to soldiers in the armed forces.

Halloween is a fun time for parents and kids to spend quality time together, and by making safe and healthy choices, friends and family can continue to make spooky memories for years to come.

West Central Florida Department of Health Contact Information:

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


About Florida Departments of Health in West Central Florida

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


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