Halloween is almost here, and surely is one of children’s (and parent’s) favorite evenings. After all, who doesn’t like dressing up in costume and getting candy? Halloween safety starts at home, continues on the streets, and finishes at home again.
Halloween Safety Starts at Home
Halloween safety involves your child’s choice of costume. If you’re like our house, that usually involves a last-minute decision. Regardless of when costume choices are made, just remember that dressing your child for weather and safety is very important.
- Make sure footwear is appropriate and comfortable for the season and doesn’t pose a tripping threat.
- Ensure masks fit well so sight is not impaired.
- Put reflective materials on costumes and bags to make sure little ones are seen.
- Illuminate your trick or treater by using flashlights and glow sticks.
- Dress your children in light-colored costumes.
It is recommended that all children under the age of 12 go trick or treating with an adult. It is never a bad idea for all children to learn a parent’s cell number in case they get lost. It is important to teach children that they can also use 911 if lost. Older children should go out in groups and carry their cell phones.
Trick or Treating
On the streets is where the fun begins, but also the danger. It has been estimated that the risk of children getting hit by cars is higher on Halloween than on any other night of the year.
- Children should always walk on sidewalks and lit streets.
- It is important to cross streets using crosswalks.
- Avoid houses that don’t have porch lights on.
Now that the big fun is over, parents should check the candy haul.
- Throw out candy with unsealed packages or holes in it.
- Homemade treats are best not trusted unless it is from someone well-known.
- Throw away candy that your child is allergic to.
It’s best to discuss the amount of candy that can be eaten on Halloween. As a pediatrician, we receive a lot of calls after Halloween about stomach aches. Most people are pretty lenient on Halloween but it is important to discuss how the rest of the candy will be handled. I offer to buy my children’s candy on the day after Halloween and many local dentists do the same. The children can then save the money or take a trip to the store to buy something fun.