Keeping the kids safe during the Halloween holiday is probably just as important to parents as finding the perfect costume is to their children. That's why in keeping with the holiday spirit, Sacramento County's Department of Environmental Management team is reminding parents of some helpful safety tips for their little monsters this Halloween.
Here's what officials have to say:
Tips for parents before Trick-or-Treat
- Give your children a healthy snack or light meal before going out so they will not be tempted to eat their treats before you can inspect them.
- Tell children to wait until they get home so you can check their goodies before they eat.
Trick-or-Treat food safety tips
- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Discard homemade goodies unless you know the cook well.
- Inspect factory-wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance of discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
- Parents of very young children should remove any any choking hazards such as gum, nuts, hard candies or small toys. Parents of children with food allergies need to take extra caution and read food labels.
Consider giving alternative treats
- Packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter
- Mini boxes of raisins
- Packages of hot chocolate mix
- Microwaveable popcorn
- Non-food items lie stickers, book markers, coloring books, and crayons
Expecting party guests?
- If food is catered, make sure you are working with a reputable caterer and have properly working chafing dishes to keep hot food hot. Keep hot foods hot at a safe temperature of 135 degrees or above.
- Keep cold foods cold. Make sure there is plenty of room in your refrigerator to store cold foods before, during and after the party. The refrigerator should hold foods at 41 degrees or cooler to prevent bacterial growth.
- Fresh fruits an vegetables should be washed well before serving.
- If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make sure it is pasteurized or other otherwise treated to destroy harmful bacteria. The label will state if the juice or cider has been treated.
For more information on Halloween health and safety tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/family/halloween.