With Halloween right around the corner, the scariest thing out there can be the potential for sickness or injury around the holiday.

Here are some tips from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Whiteside County Health Department to have a safe and happy Halloween:

🎃 Trick-or-treaters who feel ill should get tested and stay home if sick, to avoid spreading illnesses.

🎃 If you’re handing out treats, wash your hands frequently.

🎃 If you’re hosting a party, include outdoor spaces if possible and review options for improving ventilation in your homes or venue to keep germs from spreading.

🎃 The best protection from respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, the flu and RSV, for protection that lasts through the fall and winter seasons, is to get fully vaccinated.

Here are additional tips offered by health and safety experts:

🎃 Wear costumes that are flame resistant, as noted on the label. If you make a costume, use flame-resistant fabrics like polyester or nylon.

🎃 Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape to be more visible when crossing streets.

🎃 Wear makeup and hats rather than costume masks to help eliminate obscuring vision.

🎃 Test any makeup to be used at least 24-48 hours in advance to look for allergic reactions.

🎃 For makeup, check the FDA’s list of color additives to see if the colors are FDA-approved. This is especially important for makeup around the eyes.

🎃 Avoid wearing decorative or colored contact lenses to help avoid risk of eye injury, unless you have seen an eye care professional for a proper fitting and been given instructions for how to use the lenses.

When it comes to enjoying Halloween treats and sweets, the FDA offers the following nutritional and safety tips for trick-or-treaters:

🎃 Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.

🎃 Eat a snack before heading out to avoid eating treats before they have been inspected.

🎃 In case of food allergies, check the label.

🎃 Tell children not to accept or eat anything that isn’t commercially-wrapped.

🎃 Be aware of potential choking hazards for young children from items like gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.

🎃 Inspect commercially-wrapped treats for signs of tampering. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds the public to beware of Halloween hazards. Over the past three years, CPSC estimates that an annual average of 3,200 Halloween-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. Here’s how the injuries break down:
🎃 55% were related to pumpkin-carving.
🎃 25% were due to falls while putting up or taking down decorations, tripping on costumes or walking while trick-or-treating.
🎃 20% of the injuries included lacerations, ingestions and other injuries associated with costumes, pumpkins or decorations and allergic reactions or rashes.

Among the injured, 54% were adults over 18, 46% were under 18 and about 10% of all injuries were to children 6 years old or younger.

Here are some CPSC safety tips:

🎃 Leave pumpkin-carving to the adults. Child helpers can grab a spoon and scoop out the inside or use a marker to trace the design.

🎃 When your jack-o’-lantern is ready, use battery-operated lights or glow sticks rather than an open-flame candle.

🎃 If using open-flame candles, keep them away from curtains, decorations and other items that could catch fire.

🎃 Never leave burning candles unattended.

🎃 To help prevent falls, remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.

🎃 Indoors or outside, only use lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory.

🎃 Check lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.

For more Halloween safety tips and resources, click here.