6 Tips For Having a Safe Halloween

Avoid a Foodborne Illness Nightmare this Halloween with Helpful Tips
from Stop Foodborne Illness

Halloween is right around the corner. Pick up those finishing touch decorations, plan parties, finalize costumes and most importantly, brush up on proper food safety practices to prevent foodborne illness this year.
Stop Foodborne Illness , a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens, wants people to be aware of the dangers that can arise from food during the Halloween season. Educating yourself and your children is the easiest way to reduce the risk this holiday season. Whether you are going trick-or-treating or hosting a Halloween party, make sure you leave the scares to the dressed-up ghouls and goblins.

Trick-or-treating is a fun activity, but it can potentially be a serious health hazard. Before heading out with the kids or sending them off on their own, remind them how important it is to be aware of the treats they are receiving. Check out Stop’s quick tips for practicing easy food safety while trick-or-treating:
  • Avoid homemade goodies from people you don’t know. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding eating homemade treats made by strangers since there is no way to ensure the person preparing them followed proper food safety procedure. Although everyone loves a good brownie or caramel apple, the best way to stay safe is to stay away.
  • Fight the snacking urge. Make sure everyone’s had a light meal or snack before hitting the neighborhood streets. It is always tempting to enjoy a piece—or two— of the sweet haul while walking to the next house, but Stop urges trick-or-treaters to wait until they return home and can check that all treats are properly wrapped before eating.
  • Wash your hands. Proper handwashing is always important in preventing the spread of dangerous pathogens but is even more important during this holiday. Between trick-or-treating and school Halloween parties, a lot of packaged candy passes from different hands, increasing the chances of contracting foodborne illness. Make sure kids are washing their hands before digging into their Halloween candy.
Hosting a Halloween party for friends and family? Let the ghosts in but say boo to bacteria. Stop Foodborne Illness has a few guidelines for entertaining your guests for a fun and safe night.
  • Beware of spooky cider! Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella . To stay safe, always serve pasteurized products at your parties. Any dish or drink with fresh fruit—or veggies—must be thoroughly washed before being served.
  • Prevent the spread of bacteria by keeping all perishable foods chilled until serving time. Bacteria creeps up when foods sit out too long. Don’t leave goodies—like finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit, salads, cold pasta dishes, Jell-O treats, store bought deli trays and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings—out of the fridge for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).
  • Plan safe entertainment. Bobbing for apples is a classic Halloween game but having multiple people touching the same apples over and over again can present significant food safety risks. Reduce the number of bacteria that might be present by thoroughly rinsing apples under cool running water and using a produce brush to remove surface dirt. Or, give the traditional game a modern update : Cut out “apples” from red construction paper and write activities for kid—or funny dares for an older crowd—on each one. Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string and let guests take turns “bobbing” with their magnet.

About Stop Foodborne Illness
Stop Foodborne Illness is a national nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit www.Stopfoodborneillness.org/awareness/. If you think you have been sickened from food , contact your local health professional. You may subscribe to receive Stop Foodborne Illness e-Alerts and eNews here: www.Stopfoodborneillness.org/take-action/sign-up-for-e-alerts/.

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Keep Kids Creative Week (September 18-24) - My Picks For Unplugged Play

I am a firm believer in unplugged play. My kids online time is strictly limited. They do not have phones and I monitor their online life and time through Microsoft. I set time limits and see everything they search and view.  As a parent I believe it is our role to take an active role on their screen time, monitor what the are watching and set a good example by limiting our own time. We are not living life if our face is constantly in a little screen. This is why I am so excited about Creative Week.  The experts way in on unplugged play.

My Favorite Unplugged Products:

Magic Sketch

My kids are in love with Magic Sketch. We have had Magic Sketch for 4 weeks and my kids still use it at least 5 times a week.

With Magic Sketch you child can create, learn, sketch, play and all with the push of a button they can delete it and start all over again.

Magic Sketch comes with 4 styluses (pen, paint brush, crayon, and scraper), stencils,  a roller and 3 stamps. 


I have even used it on my Facebook wall to ask questions to friends about Big Brother!

Doodle A Droodle

My review is here. We love this game.

It is a new take on Pictionary and is so much fun. It is changes every time we play it.  You pull a card from the pile, put it on the board and draw on the dry erase type board trying to create something from the card you pulled.  If you do a good job and someone guesses what you drew you get points.

We laughed so hard playing this game. Some of the cards were easier than others and some were completely white so you could come up with anything.


Play Foam

With Educational Insights Playfoam Classic 4-Pack, kids are free to express their creativity with no mess to clean up afterward! Just squish up the Playfoam, shape it however you like, then squash it back down and start all over again! No-stick Playfoam is perfect for sculpting squishy, squashy creations anywhere and anytime! And Playfoam never dries out, so the creativity never ends! Encourages creativity and self-expression, provides tactile and sensory stimulation, and develops fine motor skills too! The Playfoam Classic 4-Pack includes 3-ounce pods in blue, green, purple, and orange. 

Age range: 3 years+
MSRP: $6.80

Available online: http://amzn.to/2ytvbdo


This was so fun to play with. It is a little sticky and satisfying to poke and knead.

InRoad Toys HotWheels PlayTape

There’s no better creative play and use of imagination than cars and trucks and InRoad Toys Hot Wheels® PlayTape® opens up a universe of open-ended vehicle play that's as simple and unbounded as “Unroll, Stick, and Race!™” Ideal for creating roads for playing with toy cars, sticks to any flat surface, easy-tear, made of paper, no scissors required, repositionable – mistake proof, easy removal, leaves no residue.

Age range: 3 years+
Available Colors: Hot Wheels® Orange and Blue
Available Sizes: 15’ long by 2” wide

MSRP: $4.99-$5.99

Available online: 
Orange Single Pack - http://amzn.to/2hmsGC3
Blue Single Pack - http://amzn.to/2xV7cXQ
Orange 2 Pack - http://amzn.to/2xV7cXQ
Blue 2 Pack - http://amzn.to/2xlwLy2

What I love most about this track is that I can stick it anywhere. I can even have it run up the wall if I wanted it to. My preschoolers love that they have the track to drive their cars on. I love that it lies flat and comes off easily and can be moved anytime I need to. I also love that I now have a line I can have my class line up on. "OK, everyone on the blue line." It is perfect! 

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. No monetary compensation was offered or received. I did receive samples of the products.
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