Los Angeles County public health officials on Friday warned parents to take precautions against spreading the virus amid all the tricks and treats.
Since the H1N1 virus, also called swine flu, is sweeping through the county and affecting thousands of residents, the county’s chief medical officer, Jonathan Fielding, said in a statement that trick-or-treaters should practice good hygiene to avoid spreading the virus.
Parents and trick-or-treaters should wash their hands before eating or touching candy, and people who are sick shouldn’t give out sweets, the county advised.
“The ones who are sick should not really come to the door when the trick-or-treaters arrive,” said Dennis Deleon, a family practitioner physician at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
Kids who show signs of fever, coughing, sneezing or muscle aches should stay home, Deleon said.
“Those kids should stay at home until they have not had a fever for about a day,” he said.
Trick-or-treaters who do venture out should carry hand sanitizers and use them frequently, Deleon added.
“I would not really have my kid eat unwrapped goodies,” he said. “Frankly, if you are taking your kids trick-or-treating, I would use the hand sanitizer once or twice an hour. It only takes 10 seconds and you are really doing a lot of good.”
Glendale resident Gus Atondo said he would escort his 8-year-old son around their usual Halloween route and bring along wet towelettes to wipe his son’s hands.
“You take the proper precautions; at the same time you are worried,” he said.