“If you’re also having a hard time figuring out a costume for this year, I’ve got some inspiration for you. How about showing off your Red Cross knowledge and support by dressing as:
* A Red Cross Pirate…?!
* A giant blood drop (our mascot’s name is “Buddy Blood Drop”)
* A Disaster Relief Volunteer
* “Disaster Dog” (another Red Cross mascot; see photo below)
* A blood donor (complete with a “Be nice to me, I gave blood today!” sticker, a bandaged arm, a fake bag of blood, and a doughnut in hand)
* A Vietnam “Donut Dolly”
* Dr. Charles Drew (the “father of blood banking”)
* American Red Cross founder Clara Barton
And once you are appropriately costumed, Sharon Stanley, the chief nurse of the American Red Cross offersÂ some “tricks” to handle H1N1 hazards this Halloween:
* If your child is sick, keep them at home. This will be disappointing to your young one, but your neighbors and community are counting on you to hold the line on transmission of this virus.
* Remind kids to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs away. Carry that hand sanitizer with you or have it near your candy dispensing area.
* If you are giving out candy, hand it out or scoop it. Instead of a bowl of candy, consider handing out small, individually wrapped bags of treats.
* Throw away any unwrapped candy and inspect the rest for choking hazards and tampering.
[UPDATE: ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper made a good point on his Twitter feed this morning: "Please note: if you plan on dressing up like a pig for Halloween and going as 'swine flu,' you are not being creative."]