BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD)– With the spooky season upon us, it’s important to keep in mind some health tips for Halloween.
Ashlyn Hayes is a Registered Dietitian Health Promotion Specialist at McLean County Health Dept. She believes food allergies are something to be aware of while trick or treating.
“Food allergies are pretty common, especially among children,” said Hayes. “More than 1 in 13 children have a food allergy. So it’s very likely that a child with a food allergy is going to knock on your door this Halloween,”
Kids with food allergies could also benefit from a “no eating while trick or treating” rule. So parents can inspect candy before it’s eaten.
She also discussed the healthiest options for Halloween. “You could offer little snacks like pretzels, and animal crackers. Or you can offer fruit.”
She continued, “You can skip food altogether, and you can offer little toys or trinkets, little stickers. They still get very excited about that kind of stuff.”
With Halloween comes flu season. Marianne Manko, the Public Affairs Coordinator of McLean County Health Dept also shared tips to avoid potential illness.
Manko said that masks help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. Kids are already dressing up for Halloween anyway. Why not have fun with it?
“Go ahead and wear that mask. Go get a good-quality mask that will help your children from spreading those respiratory illnesses and make it a part of the Halloween costume,” said Manko.
She continued, “Think about it, kids are willing to wear the plastic mask or some of those rubber masks, and that oftentimes is very dangerous for them because they don’t have a good line of sight. But if you just have a mask that covers your nose and mouth and you decorate it, it’s just a great way to throw in a little extra precaution to make sure that the kids are staying safe and have less of a risk of being exposed to COVID, the flu, RSV, those kinds of things.”
Manko concluded by stressing the importance of vaccines for kids. She said the end of October is the perfect time to get them.
“Vaccination is also a great way to make sure your kids don’t suffer from severe illness or pass along those viruses that can make other people very sick too.”
A list of Halloween events in Central Illinois can be found here.