Grinning jack-o'-lanterns, ghost and goblins are in the air. I love listening to my students chat about their Halloween costumes and party plans. During this time of autumn, it is important to remind the trick-or-treaters in your family about safe fun on the big night.
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) offers tips on pedestrian, costume, and candy safety. Remind your trick-or-treaters to walk in groups, preferably with a trusted adult, on the sidewalk, facing traffic. Attach reflective tape to costumes and candy bags so drivers can easily spot children. Holding a flashlight while walking will also help.
Remind your kids to walk, not run, to use crosswalks, and to look both ways before crossing streets. Tell your trick-or-treaters to only visit homes that have outside lights on and remind them they should not enter homes unless they are accompanied by a trusted adult.
Dress up and be safe, too. CDC reminds us that costume weapons should be soft and flexible. If a child’s costume involves makeup, be sure it is washed off before bedtime to prevent skin or eye irritation. Decorative contact lenses are not recommended. Mask, costumes and shoes should all fit well to avoid injury from tripping or falls. (Wearing my mom’s high heels to go with my gypsy skirt was not such a great idea!)
Costumes should also be flame resistant. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that while such materials will still catch fire, they extinguish quickly once they are away from the ignition source. Remember to look for the flame resistant tag when buying a costume, wig, beard, or mask for your child.
That mountain of candy bars, jaw breakers, and candy corn always looks delicious, but limit how much your little goblin devours at one time. Also, remind children to wait until they arrive home, and you have checked over the treats for tampering, before they start nibbling.
With a little safe, commonsense planning, Halloween can stay fun for your kids!
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Halloween Health and Safety Tips. Web. 19, Oct. 2011.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Halloween Safety Alert. Web. 19. Oct. 2011.
Reviewed October 20, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith