Scare Away Poisons This Halloween

Ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night are all a part of Halloween fun.  These festivities can quickly turn scary because this is a time when poisoning threats increase.  Experts at the Florida/USVI Poison Information Center – Jacksonville (FPICJAX) advise parents to be diligent and extra cautious to keep their trick-or-treaters safe.

“Every trick-or-treater is at risk during this holiday,” explains Dr. Jay Schauben, director of FPICJAX.  “According to the National Safety Council, the main concern is for risk of injury from walking/playing in traffic areas, from the use of toxic paints and materials as part of a holiday costume, and from eating treats that may have been maliciously contaminated.”  In addition, the National Confectioners Association works closely with poison centers, the FDA and law enforcement officers nationwide during Halloween and concurs with the recommendations below.

To help ensure a safe Halloween for everyone follow these tips:


Parents should inspect all treats their children bring home before any are consumed and especially check treats for puncture holes.  Children should only be allowed to eat homemade treats from someone you know and trust.

If your child has a food allergy, pay special attention to food labels.

Throw away all unwrapped candy, candy with wrappers that are faded, have holes, tears or signs of re-wrapping.

Feed children before they go out or bring along your own candy to give your children to reduce the urge to snack on treats that have not been inspected.

Wear light-colored or reflective costumes and carry a flashlight for visibility.

Young children should trick-or-treat with adults while older children are encouraged to trick-or-treat with friends or in a group.

Be extra careful with toddler's goodies. Remove all choking hazards or treats that are age-inappropriate, including hard candy and toys with small parts.

When in doubt, throw it out!

If using dry ice for decorations, be aware that direct contact with the skin or mouth can cause a frostbite type injury.  Wash immediately with water.

Purchase non-toxic face paint or makeup for costume use.

Caution children to not chew or bite on glow sticks and glow jewelry as these products contain an irritating chemical which may cause pain if ingested.
Call the Florida/USVI Poison Information Center 24 hours a day at 1800-222-1222 in a poisoning emergency or for information/advice on Halloween poisoning hazards.