Tuesday, October 16, 2018
By Betty Kingery
Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

Follow these tips to keep your family safe this Halloween

Carve safely

  • Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with art supplies. Leave any carving to an adult.
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks instead.

Get clever with costumes

  • The brighter the better. Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, choose bright colors and flame-retardant materials. If your child will be trick-or-treating outdoors after dark, attach reflective tape to his or her costume or treat bag.
  • Size it right. In case it's chilly outdoors, make sure your child's costume is loose enough for warm clothing to be worn underneath — but not long enough to cause them to trip. Avoid oversized shoes and high heels.
  • Skip the masks. A mask can obstruct your child's vision. Use kid-friendly, nontoxic makeup instead.
  • Limit accessories. Pointed props might pose safety hazards. Carry flashlights or wear glowing wristbands instead.

Trick or treat with care

  • Get in on the fun. Accompany trick-or-treaters younger than age 12. Pin a piece of paper with your child's name, address and phone number inside your child's pocket in case you get separated. Make sure someone in the group has a flashlight with fresh batteries.
  • Set ground rules. If your child will be trick-or-treating without you, plan and discuss a familiar route and set a curfew. Review safety rules, including staying with a group, walking only on the sidewalk, approaching only clearly lit homes, and never going inside a home or car for a treat. Have your child carry a cellphone for the evening so that he or she can contact you.
  • Inspect treats before indulging. Don't let your child snack while he or she is trick-or-treating. Feed your child an early meal before heading out, and inspect the treats before allowing your child to dive in. Discard anything that's not sealed, has torn packaging or looks questionable. If you have young children, weed out gum, peanuts, hard candies and other choking hazards.

  • Ration the loot. If your child collects gobs of goodies, hand out a few pieces at a time and save the rest. You might even ask your child if he or she would like to swap some — or all — of the candy for something else, such as a special toy, or outing.
  • Plan a party. Consider planning a trick or treat party with a couple of neighbors instead of house-to-house door knocking. Decorate the garages, have a costume contest, and plan games and prizes. Check local schools, malls and churches to find other safe celebration options.

Stay safe and sweet on the home front

  • Clean up. Put away anything trick-or-treaters could trip over, such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations. Clear wet leaves, snow or other debris from the sidewalk.
  • Turn the lights on. Replace any burned-out bulbs to ensure good visibility at the walkway and front door.
  • Control your pets. Take no chances that your pet might be frightened and chase or bite a child at your door.
  • Consider sugar substitutes. Instead of handing out sugar-laden treats, try stickers, fun pencils, rubber insects or colored chalk.

If you'll be driving on Halloween, watch for children who might pop out between parked cars. Be especially careful entering or leaving driveways and alleys.

 

For more information see: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/halloween-safety/art-20044976

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