Consider these 9 Halloween candy safety precautions before going trick-or-treating
Halloween may look different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that this year, people should avoid in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.
But if you’re still planning on taking your child trick-or-treating, or if you want to give them treats at home, here are nine candy safety precautions you should take:
1. Give your child a good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating - this will discourage filling up on Halloween treats.
2. Keep an eye on what your child has in his or her mouth at all times while on the trick-or-treat trail. Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, it can happen.
3. Examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items. Even if your child collects treats from a few well-known neighbors who haven’t tested positive for COVID-19, you may still want to wipe the candy down or let it sit for a couple days before your child eats it.
4. Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween. If you keep candy guidelines realistic, consistent, and positive, your Halloween is less likely to be about arguing or controlling candy. Get tips for taming your child's sweet tooth here.
Going trick-or-treating? See the 19 safety precautions to take while out on Halloween.
Avoid a food allergy scare on Halloween
5. A teal pumpkin in front of a house means the homeowner is offering the option of nonfood trinkets and toys in a separate bowl to make Halloween safer and more inclusive for all trick-or-treaters. NOTE: Food Allergy Research & Education is not hosting a teal pumpkin map this year. The following are some suggested nonfood items to give kids - glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, pencils, bubbles, bouncy balls, finger puppets, whistles, bookmarks, stickers and stencils.
6. Always read the ingredient label on any treat your child receives. Many popular Halloween candies contain some of the most common allergens, such as peanuts or tree nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat.
7. If the ingredients aren't listed, arrange for a treat "exchange" with classmates or friends. Or, bag up the goodies your child can't eat, and leave them with a note asking the "Treat Fairy" to swap them for a prize.
8. Be aware that even if they are not listed on the ingredient label, candies (both chocolate and non-chocolate) are at high risk of containing trace amounts of common allergy triggers. “Fun size” or miniature candies may have different ingredients.
9. Teach your child to politely turn down home-baked items such as cupcakes and brownies, and never to taste or share another child's food.
Additional Information: American Academy of Pediatrics