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For Immediate Release:

October 31, 2019

Be Mindful, Healthy and Safe this Halloween

Public Health Offers Tips on Trick-or-Treating Safety and Eating Sweets

LOS ANGELES – Halloween is here and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) wants to remind residents to take safety precautions and practice healthy eating habits.

“Halloween brings fun for the whole family, so, enjoy the day and Halloween treats, but in moderation,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, Med, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “Halloween is a good time to teach your children to be mindful of their eating habits and safe when walking through the neighborhood. Remind them to slow down and savor the treat, and make sure they carry a flashlight, use crosswalks and watch out for cars. Everyone should be mindful to put electronic devices away, keep their heads up, and walk, don’t run across the street.”

“The spookiest thing about Halloween is the potential harm to children’s teeth as they eat their candy,” said Dr. Maritza Cabezas, Dental Director for Public Health’s Oral Health Program. “For most children this means a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the rest of the year, which is why we want everyone to be thoughtful about keeping their teeth healthy.” Some ways you can help your children maintain good oral health during Halloween and year-round are:

When trick-or-treating, children should walk in groups and with a trusted adult. Carry items like flashlights or glowsticks to help you see and be seen to others. When crossing the street, use designated crosswalks wherever possible and look both ways before crossing the street. If the street has a stop light, wait until the cross walk light indicates that it is safe to cross the street. When you get home, inspect all treats for choking hazards and tampering. Eat only factory-wrapped treats and avoid homemade treats made by strangers. When in doubt, throw it out.

Instead of passing out candy in your own home, you can choose to give trick-or-treaters non-food items, such as slime, stickers, coloring books or other inexpensive novelties. Individual packs of raisins or snack-sized pretzels are healthy alternatives to pass out.

Keep jack-o'-lanterns out of reach of pets and small children, place on a sturdy table and use solar/battery powered lights instead of candles in jack-o'-lanterns unattended. Keep porches, walkways, and stairs well-lit and avoid placing items or decorations that could trip people. Costumes are the best part of Halloween. Follow these guidelines to keep your child safe: • Masks, costumes, and shoes should be well-fitted so your child can see, walk, and breathe easily. • Test a small area of your child’s skin before applying face paint or make-up to make sure they do not have an allergic reaction.

For more information on health and safety, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov .

The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov , and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/l acounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lap ublichealth, facebook.co m/lapublichealth, instagra m.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/ lapublichealth.




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