October 11, 2023
Halloween is probably right up there for children’s favorite day of the year. After all, they get to dress up as spooky creatures or their favorite characters from TV shows or movies, and to collect bags of candy.
But every year, hundreds of kids get hurt, sick or worse on the evening of Oct. 31, and there is nothing worse than ending up in the emergency room with your child when they should be out having fun.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help reduce the chances of having your children’s Halloween spoiled by something unpleasant. Here are some tips:
- Make sure an adult accompanies children who go trick-or-treating. If you’re trick-or-treating with more than three children, bring another parent along, just in case.
- Make sure all knives and swords that accompany costumes have soft, flexible and short blades.
- When children return from trick-or-treating, examine their treats for choking hazards or packaging that may have been tampered with.
- Pick out or create a light-colored or bright costume that drivers can easily see. Put reflective tape on costumes or bags to make sure motorists see trick-or-treaters.
- Test makeup on a small area of a child’s face prior to applying it for Halloween, and be sure to remove it completely before the child goes to bed.
- To stay more visible and to see others, use a flashlight while going trick-or-treating.
- Do not walk in the street. Try to use sidewalks if they are present.
- Whenever possible, use crosswalks to cross the street. Look twice before crossing.
- Reduce eye injury risks by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
- Make sure costumes fit children properly to avoid falls and obstructed vision.
- Do not allow children to enter strangers’ homes.
- Allow children to wear only flame-resistant costumes, and make sure they do not walk by lit pumpkins, candles, luminaries or other decorations with open flames.
- Never allow children to eat homemade treats. All treats should be wrapped in a form of factory packaging.
- Keep candy, especially chocolate out of the reach of pets. Any type of candy is not good for pets, and chocolate can be lethal.
Safe Pumpkin Carving
- Never allow young children to carve their own pumpkins. Instead, ask your child to draw the face on the pumpkin that the parents can carve. Or decorate your pumpkin using colorful paints, glue, and accessories.
- Instead of putting a candle in your pumpkin, consider lighting your pumpkin with a glow stick or flashlight. If you prefer a candle, use a votive candle.
- Candle-lit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable materials. Don’t leave a candle-lit pumpkin unattended.
Any homeowners planning a party for guests or expecting trick-or-treaters must take steps to ensure their guests stay safe and healthy. It is best to serve healthy snacks whenever possible. For home parties, provide fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses and low-calorie snacks. Since sodium and sugar can be harmful for many guests, make sure any packaged snacks are low in both ingredients. For trick-or-treaters, buy healthy snacks that come in factory packaging.
When planning games for a kids’ party, pick games that require physical exercise. To keep kids’ attention, plan several games to ensure they reach their daily dose of 60 minutes of exercise. Although it is best to use flameless candles and luminaries, keep any decorations with open flames out of the reach of children and out of areas where they could be hazards. Do not leave them unattended.
As party guests leave, remind them to watch the streets carefully to avoid hitting any trick-or-treaters. For adult-only parties, do not let guests drive home if they have been drinking. Call a cab for them, allow them to sleep over or ask another sober driver to take any intoxicated guests home. Check twice for any hazards on the property to avoid lawsuits and increases in homeowners insurance premiums.
- When getting ready for visitors at your house, remove anything that a visitor could trip over in the dark. Make sure garden hoses, decorations, toys, and bikes are not in walkways or on porches.
- Make sure bulbs in outside lights are working, and change any burnt out bulbs.
- Restrain your pets so they are not tempted to follow visitors out of your yard. Restraining pets also provides safety for your visitors.
- Sweep any wet leaves away from walkways, steps and porches to prevent slipping and falling.