Making Halloween Safer: Tips for Protecting Your Little Monsters
What to Wear: Ghosts and Ghouls and Goblins, Oh My!
- Your child should wear costumes that are both bright and reflective. (Try adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.)
- Make sure shoes fit well.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.
- Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks, which can limit or block eyesight.
- Look for and purchase only costumes, wigs, and accessories with labels clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- Do not buy costumes with small parts or strings that can choke or strangle smaller children.
- Attach emergency identification (name, address, phone number) inside Halloween costume or on a bracelet.
- Use flashlights with fresh batteries.
- Have older children and adult escorts wear a wristwatch and carry coins for non-emergency phone calls.
Pumpkin Carving and Decorating
- Don’t allow small children to carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers and then an adult or older sibling can do the carving.
- Supervise children ages 5-10 and have them carve with pumpkin cutters equipped with safety bars.
- Use small votive candles for candle-lit pumpkins.
- Place lighted pumpkins on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects.
- Never leave lit pumpkins unattended.
Decorating Safety Tips For Your “Haunted House”
- Remove anything a child could trip over (garden hoses, toys, bikes, lawn decorations, etc.).
- Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Sweep wet leaves away from sidewalks and steps.
- Consider fire safety when decorating. Don’t overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects.
The Tricks to Eating Healthy and Safely During Halloween
- Have you child eat a good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating. This will discourage the youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- Instead of candy, consider giving away non-food treats (eg, pens, pencils, stickers, etc.).
- Once your children get home, sort and check treats carefully and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or suspicious items.
- Try to portion treats for the days following Halloween.
- Encourage sharing, but make sure items that can cause choking (like hard candies) are given only to those of an appropriate age.
The Trick-or-Treater Checklist
- Use a flashlight so they can see and be seen by others.
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Only go to homes with a porch light on.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
- Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
- Always walk across a street—never run.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks.
- Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway, or alley.
- Follow the planned route and return home at the agreed upon time.
- 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.
- Never eat or drink unwrapped food items that may be offered.
- Notify police or other law enforcement authorities if you see any suspicious or unlawful activities.
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.aap.org
Los Angeles Fire Department, Halloween Safety Tips http://www.lafd.org/
Caring for Kids, The Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html
American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/octhalloween.cfm. Accessed June 22, 2010.
National Safety Council website. Available at: http://www.nsc.org/.