Avoid 9 Health Hazards of Halloween Candy

You follow all of the Halloween safety guidelines: Each child carries a flashlight, every costume fits and doesn't drag on the ground waiting to trip someone, no one wears a mask that obstructs her vision, and of course adults tag along to supervise!

In the midst of planning for a safe and fun Halloween, don't forget these food safety guidelines:

  1. Feed your children a healthy meal before they set out. If they eat dinner first, they'll be less likely to dip into the treat bag for a "sample" before they get home. Ghosts and goblins with full tummies will find it easier to obey safety rules as well.
  2. Make sure that you examine every goodie in the trick-or-treat bag before it is eaten. Be wary of wrappers with tiny holes (perhaps made by sticking pins or needles into foods) and any item with a loose or torn wrapping. If in doubt, throw the food out or take it to your local authorities.
  3. Take out any possible choking hazards, especially critical for children younger than five years. These include gum, peanuts and hard candies.
  4. Balloons are a choking hazard for young children. If your ghouls receive balloons in their treat bags, make sure you keep them in a safe place and supervise their use.
  5. Don't allow your children to eat any homemade treats such as popcorn balls unless you are absolutely sure you know who made the treat and that it is completely safe.
  6. The same guideline goes for fresh fruit; avoid it unless you are sure you know who purchased the fruit and that it hasn't been tampered with. To be safe, wash all fruit before eating, and cut apples or pears into wedges and peel and section oranges.
  7. Only allow your children to trick-or-treat at familiar houses in your own neighborhood.
  8. Remove any perishable foods from the Halloween trick-or-treat bag and store in the refrigerator.
  9. Establish guidelines for how much Halloween candy may be eaten, and at what times. My boys enjoy going house-to-house and receiving the treats more than they do eating them!
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