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What are some Halloween safety tips for children?

Halloween

The fall brings lots of excitement for families with children. School festivals, community carnivals and sports events and activities are all in full swing, but it’s hard to beat the excitement of Halloween. While dressing up and going out in search of candy is a lot of fun, safety should always be the priority. As you gear up for fall’s favorite holiday, keep in mind these important health and safety tips:

Pumpkins Carving & Candles

  • Do not allow small children to carve pumpkins on their own. Pumpkins can be unwieldy, and children are easily injured by sharp pumpkin carving saws. If your child wants to take the lead on decorating their Halloween pumpkin, have them draw the face with markers, and you do the cutting. Or suggest a pumpkin painting party instead!
  • Candles in pumpkins should never be left unattended or within the reach of young children. Do not place pumpkins with candles near where trick-or-treaters may pass by.

Halloween Costumes

  • Consider choosing Halloween costumes that are bright and reflective or consider adding reflective tape or blinker to your child’s candy bucket. As the sun sets, you’ll want to make sure your trick-or-treaters can be easily spotted by any passing cars.
  • Make sure your child’s Halloween costume fits well and isn’t conducive to tripping. Have them wear shoes that are well fitting and that they are accustomed to, to help prevent falls.
  • Ensure that all parts of your child’s costume, both clothing and accessories, are clearly marked as ‘flame resistant’ on the label.
  • Halloween costume makeup can sometimes contain toxic ingredients that may aggravate young skin. Consider choosing non-toxic makeup products or forgoing makeup altogether.
  • If your child is planning on wearing a mask or hat, make sure they fit properly so vision is not impaired.
  • Keep costume accessories age appropriate. Long swords, weapons or sticks can lead to accidents and injuries in young children.

Trick-or-Treating

  • Before heading out to go trick-or-treating, make a family safety plan together. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult and never left unattended. Older children who are going alone should be familiar with the route they are to take, what time they should be home, and all other basic trick-or-treating rules.
  • Basic trick-or-treating rules include only visiting homes where the front porch light is on, never going inside a home or entering a car for a treat, keeping to well-lit neighborhoods and streets, staying with a group, and communicating to all members where you are going, and avoiding alleys.
  • If your child is on their own, provide them with a phone and make sure they know how to call 911 in case of an emergency.
  • Always alert local law enforcement if any suspicious or illegal activity is observed.
  • Keep a flashlight with new batteries on you while trick-or-treating with children, along with a cell phone.
  • Remind your child of their basic family information, including their parents’ names, phone numbers and home address, just in case they’re separated at any point.
  • Make sure everyone knows to keep their distance from any animals you encounter while trick-or-treating. Even neighborhood pets that are typically friendly can be thrown off by a mask or costume, or get confused by lighting and the general noise and excitement of the holiday. As the parent or caregiver, you are responsible for your child's safety around any animal.
  • For very young children, consider forgoing the late-night trick-or-treating in exchange for a community festival or trick-or-treat event earlier in the day. Even on holidays, rest is important for young children.
  • Take the time to feed a well-balanced meal to your child before heading out in search of candy. This will help keep them from over-indulging on Halloween treats and help keep blood sugar levels a little more regulated.
  • Take care when crossing the street with your crew and try not to cross the street between parked cars or in front of driveways. Use crosswalks when you see them!
  • While out trick-or-treating, keep an eye on what candy may be in your child’s mouth. Some candy can be a serious choking hazard to young children.

Halloween Candy

  • Once home, help your child go through their Halloween treats to ensure all are unspoiled, wrapped, and free of any allergies your child may have.
  • Try to model moderation in the consumption of Halloween treats and consider saving some for your child to eat over the next few weeks and months.
  • Lastly, after a fun night of indulging in Halloween candy, be sure your child brushes their teeth extra well. Chocolate, lollipops, and bubblegum are fun, but childhood cavities are not! Happy Halloween!

By ABC Quality Team on October 25, 2022