Make safe, healthy choices to have a spooktacular Halloween weekend

Child Trick-or-Treating on Halloween – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Yuganov Konstantin

West Central, Fl. – The Florida Department of Health in West Central Florida is prioritizing reminding visitors and residents to make healthy and safe choices this Halloween weekend.

Halloween can be an incredibly fun holiday for both children and adults, however, it is crucial to make safety a priority while trick-or-treating. Traffic, costume choices, and food safety are crucial when it comes to celebrating the spooky time of year.


Based on statistics, kids are more than twice as likely to be injured from being hit by a car or tragically killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Many times, lack of visibility due to low lighting plays a major role in these unfortunate incidents.

Remember to guide children to stick with their friends or group and to travel only in well-lit, familiar areas. It is also important to put their electronic devices down as the lights can be distracting. 

Halloween Costumes

Adding striping or reflective tape to trick-or-treat bags and costumes for greater visibility can be very helpful. Glow stick necklaces and bracelets can be used as well.

Costumes heavy in makeup should be tested prior to Halloween on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no surprise allergic reactions. Several toxic ingredients have been discovered in costume cosmetics marketed to younger ages, therefore it is important to check the source. Another Halloween trend is using decorative contact lenses. It is important to get an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional beforehand. 


Whether it is personally wrapped or commercially sold candy, parents should inspect all treats collected for any signs of tampering. Typical things to watch out for include tiny pinholes, discoloration or an unusual appearance, or tears in the wrappers. 

There has also been a rise in “rainbow fentanyl” colorful fentanyl pills reported throughout the country. There has been no evidence to warrant any concern of fentanyl being targeted at children, however, as with any Halloween treats, it is important for parents to remember to check children’s candy for any suspicious items.

When in doubt, throw it out!

Children should eat candy from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Giving them a snack or light meal prior to collecting candy can deter this.

Halloween can be a fun time for both kids and parents to enjoy spending time together, and by being vigilant and making safe choices, family and friends can continue to create wonderful Halloween memories for years to come.

West Central Florida Departments of Health contact information:

DOH-Citrus (352) 527-0068

DOH-Manatee  (941) 748-0747

DOH-Hardee (863) 773-4161

DOH-Pasco  (727) 619-0300

DOH-Hernando (352) 540-6800

DOH-Pinellas (727) 824-6900

DOH-Highlands  (863) 386-6040

DOH-Polk      (863) 519-7900

DOH-Hillsborough  (813) 307-8000

DOH-Sarasota (941) 861-2900

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