Halloween can be a wonderful and whimsical night. It’s the one night of the year when childhood fantasies temporarily come to life, with pirates, ghosts and superheroes prowling the neighborhood on the hunt for thrills, chills and chocolate.
But it can pose dangers to your young revelers if you’re not careful. To help make this year’s holiday a trick-free treat, follow these safety tips.
Loose-fitting sheets and darkened streets can create tricky situations for boys and ghouls. Yards and sidewalks may become treacherous after dark when mask eye holes are too small.
Keep your little ones on their feet by following these safety tips.
- Use face paint or cosmetics on the face. It’s safer than a loose-fitting mask that can obstruct a child’s vision and restrict breathing.
- If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely and provides adequate vision. Enlarge eye holes if necessary. Beware of masks that restrict breathing. Have kids remove masks when they cross the street.
- Avoid costumes that dangle or trail on the ground. Costumes also should be warm and flame-resistant.
- Swords, knives and other accessories should be made out of soft, flexible material.
The rules of the road must still be enforced. Even if it means dressing like a traffic cop and joining the fun, your parade of pedestrians must pass safely in the night.
- Use reflective tape on your little goblin’s costume to make her more visible to motorists.
- Remind children to stop at all corners and look left-right-left before crossing the street.
- Advise children to walk — not run — on the sidewalk, facing traffic.
- Don’t let children cut across yards. Lawn ornaments and clotheslines are difficult to see in the dark.
- Drive slowly through residential neighborhoods and watch for children walking in the street or on medians and curbs.
Here are several other ideas to help you scare up a safe Halloween:
- Attach the name, address and phone number of your child to her costume.
- Trick-or-treat in familiar areas.
- Inspect all the loot before it is eaten. Homemade treats and items not in their original wrappers should be discarded, unless you know where they came from. If fruit or candy looks tampered with, cut it up to check for pins or other hazards. Report any tampering to authorities.
- If they have a full meal before they start out, they’ll be less tempted to eat their treats before inspection. Take along a box of raisins to tide them over.
- Make sure kids are seated when they eat their treats. Choking most often occurs when a child is walking or running around with food.
(c) 2016. Article adapted from The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth(R). Used under license.