Oregon Health Authority offers tips for a safe Halloween

Oregon Health Authority offers tips for a safe Halloween

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s looking like it will be a wet Halloween in Portland.

KOIN 6 News Meteorologist Kelley Bayern reports that although the weather is subject to change, rain is in the forecast for Monday night.

“It’s still hard to say when heavy rain drops into Portland come Monday,” Bayern said. “But for now, expect to see showers across the Portland metro on Halloween evening.”

With weather adding to the holiday hazards, here’s a list of tips on how to stay safe this Halloween from the Oregon Health Authority:

Stay up to date on shots and consider wearing masks

While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped dramatically in the last year, the Oregon Health Authority is recommending that people still take precautions this Halloween.

“Public health officials expect another increase in cases of COVID-19, as well as influenza and other respiratory viruses, as people head indoors to escape the cold, wet fall weather,” the OHA says. “That’s why officials recommend everyone get their COVID-19 and flu vaccines as soon as they can. And since it does take a couple weeks for vaccines to take full effect, people planning to trick-or-treat and attend Halloween events can keep themselves healthy by wearing masks if they expect to be in crowded settings.”

Inspect that candy

You hear it every year, but checking Halloween candy for tampering is a good idea, OHA says.

“After trick-or-treating, inspect all candy and treats to make sure wrapping hasn’t been tampered with,” the OHA says. “Look for unusual appearance, discoloration and any tears in wrappers. When in doubt, throw it out.”

OHA is also recommending not to go trick-or-treating on an empty stomach to avoid pre-inspection snacking. Parents are also urged to look for food allergens or choking hazards in their kids’ holiday hauls.

Party hosts can also avoid spreading food-borne bacteria like E. coli or salmonella by properly rinsing apples or other fruit under cold water before playing classic Halloween games.

Avoid generally hazardous things

Unpredictability is part of Halloween’s charm, but precautions can still be taken to avoid injuring yourself or others. OHA is recommending that people wear flame-resistant costumes made of polyester or nylon this Halloween. Pedestrians should also consider wearing bright costumes or reflective tape to remain visible to drivers and cyclists while trick-or-treating. Baggy costumes may also present hazards like tripping.

“Some Halloween masks can obscure vision, especially outside when it’s dark,” OHA says. “An alternative to masks is wearing Halloween makeup, but make sure to test a small amount on your skin a couple days ahead of time to see that it doesn’t cause a rash, redness, swelling or other signs of irritation.”

Carving Jack-o’-lanterns can also be dangerous. OHA recommends that young children use spoons to scoop out pumpkins — drawing on pumpkins with markers can also be substituted for carving. Replacing traditional Jack-o’-lantern candles with LED lights can reduce the risk of harm as well.

“[Young kids] should leave pumpkin carving to adults or older children under adult supervision,” OHA says. “Use LED lights instead of candles to light up jack-o-lanterns. If you do use candles, make sure only adults are lighting them and that the pumpkins are not left unattended or near flammable materials.”


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