FDA Issues Halloween Safety Tips

NEW YORK (MainStreet) —  Halloween isn’t only potentially hazardous to pets, as MainStreet reported earlier this week. Revelers need to be on the lookout for faulty costumes, party hazards and strangers with candy.

To help families stay safe this year, the U.S Food and Drug Administration, along with the U.S. Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have issued some new guidelines for celebrating the spooky holiday. Here’s what you need to be on the lookout for this Oct. 31.

Costume safety

The FDA recommends consumers purchase flame-retardant costumes or make costumes from flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Consumers should also select bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so they’ll be more visible when trick-or-treating at night, and should don hats and/or makeup instead of a full mask so as not to impair their vision. Makeup should be tested on a small patch of skin, prior to application, to ensure the person is not allergic to it. Finally, consumers can check the FDA’s website for a list of color additives that are approved for use in the marketplace.

Candy inspections

The FDA says parents should advise children not to eat any candy until they return home with it as well as to decline any candy that is not commercially wrapped. Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to eat treats prior to parental inspection, the FDA suggests.

Parents should inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, like “unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers” and throw away anything that looks suspicious. They should also discard any items that pose a choking hazard such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys, before giving them to very young children.

Party foul

If you are having visitors bob for apples at your Halloween party, the FDA suggests rinsing the fruit under cool running water to reduce the amount of bacteria that might be on the apples. You can also use a produce brush to remove surface dirt from the apples before submerging them.

Consumers can find more tips, including how to properly wear decorative contact lenses, on the FDA’s consumer updates website.

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