HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Since children are so vulnerable to swine flu, Halloween activities could provide a breeding ground for the virus this weekend.
As kids go door to door on the hunt for treats this Halloween they could be doing more than taking candy from strangers. With each piece of candy they grab, they could be at risk for catching swine flu.
"For a limited period of time candy has the ability to carry the virus as an inanimate object," said Dr. Robin Foster, VCU Medical Center.
Health experts at the VCU Medical Center want parents to be aware of the dangers of having kids repeatedly digging into a bag full of goodies. It's an easy way to spread the virus.
"What I plan to do is put the treats in their bag which is what I usually do anyway," said Dorothy Kuffler.
"Someone is going to hand them something into their bag. They're not really just diving in," Jeff Snead said.
Selecting one healthy person to pass out candy is one of the best ways to keep kids from catching the virus. You should also have your children eat before trick or treating so they are less likely to snack along the way. Plus wait at least 8 hours before allowing children to eat candy, to minimize the risk of the virus still being present. And lastly, use hand sanitizer in between trick or treaters.
Whether you're going door to door or answering the door taking these extra steps can prevent candy hungry kids from getting sick. If your child is sick it's best to not have them go out trick or treating at all. Or of course you can have someone go door to door for them while they stand back to prevent the virus from circulating.
(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.