Keep tricksters, treaters safe

Halloween is becoming a popular celebration here in Cayman.

Parental supervision is essential at this time of year to ensure that children remain safe, particularly with regard to food offered to children.

To prevent illness or injury to young children, the Department of Environmental Health is advising parents to follow some essential food safety tips:

• Children should wait until they get home to eat food items, after parents or other adults have had a chance to inspect treats brought home.

• Giving children a snack or light meal before they set out trick or treating helps restrain their impulse to eat treats before returning home.

• When children take their treats home, parents should examine them and discard any suspect items including candy or baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazard such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.

• Parent should inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or torn wrappers. Discard anything that looks suspicious.

• Adults who are hosting Halloween parties for children should be careful not to leave juice or cider outside of the refrigerator for lengthy periods before they are consumed. Unpasteurised juices and cider (labels will indicate this) are especially vulnerable. Steer away from these.

• Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect it for holes and other blemishes, however small, and cut them open before allowing children to eat them. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.

• Parents of children with food allergies should examine food labels to determine if allergic ingredients and additives are present. Some Halloween treats may trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.

DEH officials also encourage parents to accompany or arrange adult supervision for their children while they are engaged in trick or treat activities.

For further information on food safety, contact DEH at 949-6696.

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