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Have a Healthy Halloween!

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

October 25, 2013

Halloween is an exciting time for children and families to dress up in fun costumes, participate in fall activities and eat delicious treats. As you and your family enjoy Halloween festivities this year, please be sure to follow these tips for having a healthy and safe Halloween!

Wash your hands

Don’t forget to wash your hands! The flu is not afraid of ghouls and goblins. Washing your hands is a significant step for preventing the spread of germs and illnesses. There’s no trick to it, healthy hand washing habits are easy.

Wash your hands as often as possible. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer wipes or gel.

Check out the Florida Department of Health’s Hand Washing Practices to start healthy hand washing habits today!

Stay healthy

Fruits and veggies are a healthy alternative for Halloween parties and trick-or-treat bowls.

Halloween is also a great time to increase your physical activity. Trick-or-treating and Halloween parties encourage walking and dancing, some of the major components of healthy lifestyle.

Visit www.HealthiestWeightFL.com to learn more about healthy eating and active living throughout the year.

Treat your teeth this Halloween

October is National Dental Hygiene month and the Florida Department of Health wants to remind you to keep your fangs healthy this Halloween.

This Halloween consider, giving out fun tooth-friendly alternatives to candy. Think outside the box by distributing festive giveaways such as sugar-free gum, stickers, noisemakers, Halloween erasers and bouncy balls, and word puzzle booklets.

Limit the amount of candy your children eat, and encourage them to drink a glass of water and follow with a thorough tooth-brushing whenever possible.

For more information on the importance of optimal oral health and hygiene tips for a healthy smile before your kids are exposed to large amounts of candy and sugar, visit the Florida Department of Health’s Public Dental Health Program website.

Beware of Halloween safety hazards

Halloween can be loads of fun, but can also pose several potential safety hazards. To keep children safe on Halloween, parents are encouraged to consider more than just the candy their kids collect.

Make sure your family wears well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls. Stick to non-toxic make-up and always test it in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

Also, remember that supervision is key. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without an adult.

Don’t forget your pets! Halloween is a scary time for them with all of the decorations, costumes and lights. To ensure pets also have a happy Halloween, leave them home when trick-or-treating, do not give them chocolate or raisin treats and toss away your candy wrappers.

Visit the Florida Department of Health’s Safe Kids Florida website as well as Safe Kids USA Halloween Safety Tips to learn more about keeping your children safe.