8 Tips for a Safe Halloween
Have a safe, healthy, happy Halloween, and one that is not too scary! Here are 8 tips for you and your family to keep in mind this Halloween!
1. Remind your kids about street safety. You might be surprised to learn that the most common injuries during Halloween are pedestrian accidents. Make sure you and your kids look both ways and keep looking as you cross the street. Cross only at cross-walks while using traffic signals and never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. Children should always walk on sidewalks or walking paths.
2. Go through their candy before they dig in. Yes, make sure that their candy hasn’t been tampered with, but luckily there is actually a low likelihood of this. Even still, I recommend you examine and go through their candy so that you can remove anything you don’t want your child eating, anything that could be spoiled, unwrapped or if it is suspicious appearing.
3 .Help ration out appropriate portion sizes. It is easy to get carried away and inhale a whole bag of Halloween candy in one night. Help your child avoid this by limiting their portion sizes to an appropriate amount.
4. Make sure your kids can see and be seen. Check masks and Halloween costumes to be sure your child can see well before going out trick-or-treating. Also, choose bright costumes and/or consider putting reflectors on their costumes or candy bags so that drivers can see your children easier. I also suggest having them carry a flashlight while out trick-or-treating.
5. A parent should always accompany children younger than 12 when they go out trick-or-treating. If older children are mature enough and are planning to go alone, have them go out on a planned route that you agree upon ahead of time. These kids should always stay in groups, carry a cell phone for easy and quick communication and stay only in well-lit areas. Teach kids never to approach cars or go inside homes for candy.
6. Check out their costumes. Make sure that costumes and shoes fit well, and that there are no sharp edges so that if they trip, they don’t inadvertently hurt themselves. Also, try to pick out costumes, wigs or accessories that are specifically labeled as flame resistant.
7 .Do a test run with make-up. Make-up is a great alternative to masks, but I suggest testing it out on a small patch of skin ahead of time so that you’re not surprised with any scary reactions on Halloween.
8. Avoid decorative contact lenses. Teens may want to use decorative contacts, but I do not advise using any of these without a prescription from an eye doctor. Contacts are NEVER one size fits all and can cause inflammation and/or infections if not used properly, so it’s just not worth the risk.
What about kids with food allergies?
Children with food allergies can have a particularly challenging time during all holidays, including Halloween. Their desire to feel included in the rite of passage that is trick-or-treating doesn’t always mesh well with the risk of getting food that could harm them.
Many of the most common food allergies are frequent ingredients in Halloween treats (nuts, milk, egg, soy and wheat).
"Over the past few years, there has been a movement toward providing non-food options for trick-or-treaters," said Justin Smith, M.D., a Cook Children's pediatrician. "You can designate your house a food-allergy friendly house by painting a pumpkin teal or for those of you are aren’t as crafty, you can print out this flyer and tape it to your door."