Trick-or-Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good To Eat… is the chant we all remember as we build up towards Halloween. With kids going door to door in a few weeks, it is important to go over some safety tips with them and to remember some of them yourself.
Halloween is a fun time for children to dress up in their favorite costumes, enjoy parties, eat yummy treats and carve pumpkins. It can also be a scary time, more than twice as many child pedestrians are struck and killed walking on Halloween as compared to any other day during the year. To ensure your child’s safety during Halloween, here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics for parents and Trick-or-Treaters to follow.
Pumpkin Carving Safety Tips:
- If you have a small child, allow the child to draw a face on the pumpkin, and the parents should do all the cutting and carving.
- Instead of using a candle to light your pumpkin, consider using a flashlight or glow stick. If you do choose to use a candle, use a votive candle, it will be the safest.
- Place your candlelit pumpkin on a sturdy table, away from flammable objects and never leave the lit pumpkin unattended.
Costume Safety Tips:
Choosing a costume for you or your child is a pretty exciting event. Choose a costume that is bright, reflective, and a length that will not be a tripping hazard. Be cautions when choosing a facemask, masks can sometimes hinder you or your child’s vision. Instead of using a mask, non-toxic make-up is an alternative option. Look for costumes and wigs that are made from flame resistant material and choose accessories such as canes or swords that are not too sharp or too long.
Tips on the Trick-or-Treating Route:
While trick-or-treating, an adult should always accompany young children, if you have older children, review the planned route and agree on a specific time for them to return home. Only go to homes that you are familiar with, and that have the porch light on; never enter into someone else’s home or vehicle. Stay on well-lit streets, use the sidewalks, if you have to walk on the roadway, walk on the edge of the roadway facing traffic. Cross streets as a group at established crosswalks, watch for traffic, don’t assume all vehicles will stop. Always check your child’s candy before allowing your child to “dig in”; avoid candy and treats that are homemade and are not in factory wrappers.
Pedestrian injuries are the most common injury to children on Halloween. Drivers, slow down, be aware of the Trick-Or-Treating hours in your neighborhood, allow yourself extra time, and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic. Adults, make your Trick-or-Treaters noticeable to drivers, place reflective tape or flashing lights on their costumes, carry a flashlight, and walk from house to house.
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Enjoy your Halloween, above all, be safe.