Although the swine flu may very well be a popular costume this year, that’s the only kind you want to let in your door. To help prevent the other kind — the contagious, potentially serious kind — from replacing tummyaches as the aftermath of Halloween trick-or-treating, experts are offering some tips for staying safe and healthy this year. Naturally, if you or your kids are not feeling well, you probably want to stay home and not pass out candy — you don’t want to pass out germs along with the goodies.
Because the swine flu can be contracted by coming into contact with something with the virus on it and then touching your nose or mouth, health officials are suggesting that parents select candy and put it in the trick-or-treaters’ bags, rather than allowing children to reach into a bowl of candy themselves. This prevents one infected child from turning a single candy bowl into a swine flu distribution center. Of course, it also avoids having greedy children grab handfuls of candy at a time, another advantage.
Keep hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes handy too, as you traipse about the neighborhood, and, when you get home, have the children wash their hands thoroughly before letting them loose on their spoils. Of course, this goes for parents too — you don’t want to come down with anything when you sneak that chocolate bar out of the kids’ stash.