Halloween is all things spooky, frightful and scary, but Sacramento County has important tips for parents to help make sure children have a safe trick-or-treating adventure. Follow the tips below to make this, and every other, Halloween fun and safe!
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.
Before Going Out to Trick-Or-Treat
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 so they are less tempted to eat the treats in their bag before you can inspect it. 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.
When You Get Home
Inspect treats for tampering, unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers – throw away anything suspicious and do not eat any homemade treats, unless you know the person who made them. 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 and use battery flicker lights for carved pumpkins instead of lit candles. Give out only factory-wrapped treats and consider healthier options like mini-boxes of raisins or crackers. You could also give out non-food items, like stickers, book markers, coloring books and Crayons.
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.
Don’t Forget your Pets
While Halloween is fun for children, it can be spooky for your fur children. 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. Keep pets safely indoors and put on their I.D. collars with up-to-date license tags – do not take them trick-or-treating. Consider setting up shop on your driveway so that your doorbell does not continuously ring and further distress animals. Lock candy safely away, a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead them right to the treats that can be life threatening.