Five Halloween safety hazards to watch out for

Halloween is the rare holiday where we can step outside of our comfort zone and slip into a new identity, but it's also one that should keep us on our toes. Whether you're heading out to a Halloween party or trick-or-treating with the kids, the holiday could throw a few health-related curve balls your way you need to be prepared for.

Here are a few surprising Halloween health hazards to avoid to ensure you and your family have a safe holiday:

Face Paint/Makeup

You may never know how your skin will react when it comes into contact with a foreign substance, and this is a major concern with face paint and other Halloween-themed cosmetics. Allergic reactions are possible, so before you head out on Halloween night, apply a small amount of the paint to some bare skin to see how it will react. If you have any issues, you probably saved yourself a lot of anguish!

Dark Clothing

If you or a member of your family will be wearing dark clothing on Halloween, placing reflective tape somewhere on the outfit is always a good idea. With more people on the road and an increased chance for drunk drivers, reflective tape will make it much easier for passing drivers to see you.

Black Licorice

We all tend to overindulge in sugar during Halloween, but if you're a fan of black licorice, you should proceed with caution. A chemical compound found in licorice called glycyrrhizin, a sweetening agent derived from the licorice root, can actually cause an irregular heartbeat in some people by causing potassium levels to drop in the body. The phenomenon is rare, but for individuals over the age of 40 who have a history of hypertension or heart disease, excessive consumption of black licorice should be avoided.

Apple Bobbing

Bobbing for apples is a fixture at Halloween festivals for kids and adults alike, but the activity has begun to go out of fashion for its ability to spread germs. Sharing a tub of water with a group of people, in the midst of cold season no less, is a surefire way to get sick. If you're confident in your immune system, go right ahead, but apple bobbing may be an activity you and your kids will want to avoid.

Sugar Substitutes

Dietetic candies made with artificial sweeteners may be healthier than traditional candies, but they may have a nasty surprise in store for some individuals. One of the primary ingredients found in these candies, a sweetener called sorbitol, can cause gastrointestinal issues in adults. Ingestion of more than 10 grams of sorbitol can cause a wide range of potential issues, including bloating, cramps and severe diarrhea.

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