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10 Ways to Avoid Spooky Halloween Health Hazards

10 Ways to Avoid Spooky Halloween Health Hazards

Have a safe Halloween. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 28 October 2016 08:19 AM

Halloween should be scary, but not where your health is concerned. Every year around this time, poison control centers across America receive frantic, chilling Halloween calls about dry ice (it can literally freeze your skin off), poisoned candy concerns (Smithsonian.com reports only one confirmed case … ever. And it was a man who tainted his own son's candy), and allergies (mostly peanut), to name a few.

Here, to lay rest any concerns and cares, are the bare bones of Halloween safety tips (culled from tombs of the American Association of Poison Control Centers):

  1. Have your kids open candy when they get home. That way, you can thoroughly inspect before it is eaten.
  2. Take a flashlight trick-or-treating with you. This is more than to find your way around — you'll want to use it in the event the above tip doesn't work and your kids insist. You'll be able to inspect candy on the fly.
  3. Discard any loosely wrapped candy or (horrors!) any that is not wrapped at all.
  4. No homemade treats — sorry, prepackaged only. Of course, if it's from a trusted source, such as friends or family, this rule does not apply. Be cautious as to how long those treats stay fresh, however.
  5. Be mindful of allergies. This can be a nightmare. If you or your kids are allergic, to say, peanuts, be sure to exclude candy that contains them. Not to mention, if any other kids are eating candy containing them, be sure to avoid hand contact.
  6. Take water with you. It's easy to get dehydrated with all the walking and running about on Halloween.
  7. Watch choking hazards with small children. Some candy involves small parts (think Cracker Jacks toys) and care must be taken with kids and babies.
  8. Glow sticks make for great lights but poor food products. In short, be sure no one cracks them open or tries to eat them. Chemicals inside could cause skin irritation.
  9. Dry ice makes for great fog, but it's a poor choice for cooling drinks. Never touch it directly as it can freeze skin and lips comparable to burns.
  10. Supervise young children when applying Halloween makeup. Some of the places it could wind up (think mouth, eyes) could at best irritate, at worst be a hair-raising night in the ER.

Halloween doesn’t have to be a time for panic; with a few tricks and safety precautions there's less chance for accidents or mishaps.

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Halloween should be scary, but not where your health is concerned.
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Friday, 28 October 2016 08:19 AM
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