Today is Halloween and the little ghosts and goblins in my house woke up excited and ready for trick-or-treating. Everyone wants Halloween to be fun but it should also be safe. Here are some great tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
• Try to buy light-colored costumes. Make sure they fit appropriately and are not too long so your little one does not trip. Also, make sure young children choose appropriate shoes—no high heels!
• Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags so that drivers can see children more easily.
• Masks can interfere with vision. Instead try using make-up. Make sure hats or wigs do not drop below the line of sight. Also, do not allow children to wear decorative contact lenses. These can be very dangerous. Contact lenses should only be worn with a doctor’s prescription.
• Make sure all costumes and any accessories are flame resistant.
• Swords should not be too sharp or too long.
• Have flashlights for everyone.
• Young children should never go trick-or-treating by themselves. Make sure a parent or other adult accompanies them.
• Children should make sure they only go to houses with porch lights that are on and they should never go inside a house or car for a treat.
• On Halloween children are most often injured while they are out walking. To keep them safe, make sure they:
o Stay in a group at all times. Someone should have a cell phone in case of emergencies.
o Make sure costumes and trick-or-treat bags are visible (use reflective tape or carry glow sticks and flashlights).
o Use sidewalks if available and stay on streets that are well-lit.
o Never cut across yards or use alleys.
o Never cross the street between parked cars or dart out of driveways.
o People driving may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Make sure you stop and wait for all cars to pass.
• Try getting your little ones to eat a healthy meal before they start trick-or-treating. This will help them avoid the urge to devour all their candy right away.
• You may want to have non-food items at your house for children with food allergies and sensitivities—or just as a fun alternative.
• It is best to wait until you are home to go through all of the candy. Throw away anything that appears expired or dangerous.
• Save some treats for later! And you may want to consider giving some away. Some dentist offices have Halloween candy buy-back programs. My children’s dentist is offering $3 per pound!
Make sure to go to AAP’s website for a lot more helpful information about making Halloween safe and fun for the whole family.