Sacramento County has some helpful ways to let your ghouls and goblins have a happy, healthy and safe Halloween.
See and Be Seen:
Pick out costumes that don’t interfere with vision, add reflective tape on the front, back and sides and use accessories that are soft or flexible. Dressing up pets might be fun for you, but some pets get truly distressed and may even bolt to try to get the costume off.
Before Going Out to Trick-Or-Treat:
Around this holiday, if your child has food allergies, it’s important to remind teachers and supervising adults about what they cannot eat. Just before going trick-or-treating, give your kids a healthy snack or light meal and provide your own candy so you can inspect their treats before they eat them. Keep pets safely indoors and put on their I.D. collars with up-to-date license tags – do not take them trick-or-treating. On your way out the door, bring a flashlight, take safe routes, use sidewalks and crosswalks and have children look both ways before crossing the street. If you are driving in residential areas on Halloween, slow down and be extra alert for children crossing the street unexpectedly.
When You Get Home:
Inspect treats to check for tampering, unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers – throw away anything suspicious. For young children, consider choking hazards such as the size and texture and remove gum, nuts, hard candies or small toys.
Handing Out Treats:
Be sure to turn on your outside walkway lights, use battery flicker lights for carved pumpkins instead of lit candles. Keep your pets in a secured area inside, but away from strangers at the front door. Consider setting up shop on your driveway so that your doorbell does not continuously ring and further distress animals. Give out only factory-wrapped treats and consider handing out healthier treats like mini-boxes of raisins or crackers. You could also give out non-food items, like stickers, book markers, coloring books and Crayons. Also, be sure to store candy and chocolate away from pets as they can cause animals to become very ill.
Having a Halloween Party:
Use properly working chafing dishes to keep hot food at a safe temperature of 135°F or above and cold foods at 41°F or cooler to prevent bacterial growth. Be sure meats are cooked to appropriate temperatures (ground meat 160°; roast/steak 145-160°; chicken 165°; pork 145°) and fresh fruits and vegetables are washed well before serving them to your guests.