Be safe on Halloween; Christmas Cottage November 6

By CHERYL WALKER Milam County AgriLife Extension Agent

Halloween can be a fun time for children, but parents need to think about safety first. Costumes can be a problem right along with the snacks received.

First, make sure your children can see clearly and that the costumes will not cause falls. Too large of masks along with too long of costumes can cause a number of injuries. Commercial costumes have fire ratings, but sometimes we may need to check our homemade costumes for fire safety.

Next, the snacks received by your children need to be checked by adults prior to the children consuming them. To help prevent children from snacking during the trick-or-treating, give them a light meal or snack before they head out. If they have an empty stomach, it will be next to impossible to stop the snacking as they gather their sweets.

After the trick-or-treating trip, parents need to inspect the contents of their children's goody bags. It is recommended that you let your children eat only commercially wrapped treats that show no signs of tampering (unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in the wrappers). Also if you have very young children, remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.

If you are having a Halloween party, you need to think about safety, too. If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make sure it is pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful bacteria. (It will say so on the label.)

Scare bacteria away by keeping all perishable foods at the right temperature. Keep cold foods chilled until serving time. These include, finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, or seafood, dips, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Cold temperatures help keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying.

If needed, put out small trays of food that can be replaced with new trays from time to time with fresh food. Continue your fight against bacteria by keeping the hot foods hot throughout the serving time (140 degrees). The rule is not to leave the food at room temperature for more than two hours.

Play it safe with your games, too. Bobbing for apples and other such games would not be the best choice to reduce the risk of someone getting sick. Select your games with safety in mind.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Christmas Cottage

Plan to join us for the Christmas Cottage on Nov. 6 at the First Methodist Church Fellowship Hall in Cameron. Doors open at 9 a.m. and the cottage will close at 1. Get in the Christmas mood while you shop and eat lunch.

At the Christmas Cottage we have a variety of booths. We have vendors with jewelry, Christmas decorations and gifts, handcrafts, homemade bears, popcorn skirts, night lights, crochet items (angels, snowflakes and doilies), baby blankets and much more.

When you complete your shopping, you can enjoy a great lunch by the Milam County Extension Education Association members. They will have a variety of sweets along with chili, stuffed potatoes and stew.

Join the fun! If you have questions, contact the Milam Extension Office at 254-697-7045.

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2009-10-29 digital edition

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