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HEALTH Issues Tips for Safe Halloween; Reminds Rhode Islanders to Get a Flu Shot

With Halloween only a few days away, the Rhode Island Department of Health offers these tips to remind Rhode Islanders how to stay safe and healthy while preparing for Trick or Treating.

- Be Smart With Your Treats Inspect candy for signs of tampering, such as ripped packaging, pinholes, discoloring, or any other unusual appearance, before children eat it. Feed children a light meal before they go trick or treating to help prevent them from snacking. Do not let children eat homemade candy or baked goods.

- Don't Forget Healthy Eating Habits It's ok to eat sweets in moderation, but don't forget there are plenty of healthy snacks you can turn to instead of a candy bar. For example: "Grab-and-go" fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, canned fruit without added sugars, and raisins Washed and chopped fresh vegetables: celery, carrots, and cucumbers Low-fat and fat-free milk products: yogurt without added sugars, milk, and low-fat cheeses Whole-grain crackers and breads Almonds and other nuts and seeds Visit CDC's website for additional healthy eating resources.

- Be Safe With Costumes Face paint, rather than a mask, can help children see better and avoid dangerous objects such as cars and tripping hazards. Follow all paint directions and never decorate your face with things that are not intended for use on skin. If decorating skin with a product you have never used before, try a dab on an arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction before applying to your face. Decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape so children can be seen by cars.Purchase only flame resistant costumes, masks, beards, and wigs. Only use decorative contact lenses if distributed by an eye care professional.

- Be Careful Trick or Treating Have children walk, not run, from house to house and use sidewalks instead of walking in the street. Only let children approach houses that have outside lights on as a sign of welcome. Carry a flashlight to help see and be seen. Do not let children enter homes or apartments unless accompanied by an adult. Be aware of obstacles on lawns, steps and porches, especially candle lit jack-o-lanterns that may be brushed by a child's costume.

- Watch out While Driving Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods. Watch for trick-or-treaters at intersections, medians, and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully.

Get Your Flu Shot

It's not too late in the season to protect yourself and your family from the flu. In fact, now is a perfect time to be vaccinated—before you begin congregating with family and friends around the holidays.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Health

Online: http://www.health.ri.gov

Release date: 10-29-2013

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