Halloween is here! As the Halloween party invitations arrive and you, are making plans for trick or treating with the kids this year, we wanted to pass on some great safety tips. Halloween night can be a little dark and scary. We looked to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and to find great tips on making sure kids have a safe holiday.
ALL DRESSED UP:
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to, prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
- Avoid compromising your child’s visibilty. Use non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Make sure you have, flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
- Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
CARVING A NICHE:
- Since young children should not carve pumpkins, have them draw, the face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
- Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
HOME SAFE HOME:
- To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
- Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
- Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you.
- Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
- Tell your children then can only approach homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
- Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
- Ask your kids to wait until they are home before eating any candy. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween – cavities are the fastest way to ruin any holiday fun!
,ę 10/09 American Academy of Pediatrics, (www.aap.org)
Have a safe and happy, Halloween! Find more Halloween inspiration!