IDPH Offers Guidance for a Spooky but Safe Halloween


With ghosts and goblins preparing for frightful Halloween frolics, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is advising Illinoisans to plan ahead so they can celebrate the harvest holiday happily instead of horrifyingly.

Trick-or-treaters who are feeling ill should get tested and stay home if sick, to avoid sharing any scary bugs. Those giving out treats should wash hands frequently. Party hosts should include outdoor spaces if possible and review options for improving ventilation in their homes to keep germs from spreading. And the best protection from respiratory bugaboos like COVID-19, the flu and RSV – 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 with “flame resistant” on the label. If you make a DIY costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so you’ll be more visible when crossing streets. Wear makeup and hats rather than costume masks that can obscure your vision.

Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home. Eat a snack before heading out to avoid the temptation of nibbling on a treat before it has been inspected. In case of a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Tell children not to accept – or eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.

Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys from the Halloween bags. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

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