Press release from the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health:
H1N1 shouldn’t scare away Halloween as long as people take precautions
The Health Department wants Allen County residents to have a safe and healthy Halloween without being afraid of H1N1 flu.
Allen County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan says people don’t need to forgo trick-or treating and other holiday rituals as long as they take a few extra precautions.
Germs can be scary if they make people sick so health officials say adults and children should stay home and abstain from Halloween activities if they have any flu symptoms.
“If a child is sick, don’t just give him or her something to suppress the fever and let them go trick-or-treating,” McMahan says. “Keep them home.
“You could ask other children to trick or treat for them.”
Parents should also send children out with alcohol-based hand sanitizer when going door-to-door and make sure children wash their hands when they return home.
Make sure children practice cough etiquette â€” cough into their elbows, not their hands â€”and remind them to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth.
The use of a communal candy bowl or grab bag is also discouraged. If you are the one at the door handing out treats, place the candy in the bag for children instead of allowing children to put their hands in the bowl. Make sure all treats are wrapped.
Children should also not share candy or drinking glasses at home.
Parents should also take the usual precautions to keep children safe, including making sure costumes are visible to motorists and children are supervised while trick-or-treating.
For more information on limiting the spread of the flu, go to www.FightTheFlu.org or call 2-1-1.