Of course, we want our children to have fun on Halloween night. What other time of year do they get to dress head to toe in a costume and get endless amounts of candy and treats from their neighbors? We’ve compiled a list of safety tips you can use this Halloween season to ensure your kids are safe while still having fun.
- Accompany children 12 and under
- Ensure costumes are safe and properly fitting
- Teach your children the importance of safety
- Educate your children about allergies
- As a driver, watch out for trick-or-treating kids
Accompany Children 12 and Under
At this age, you or another trusted adult should be accompanying your kids when they are out trick or treating. Children can get lost while out trick-or-treating and can also not pay attention to things that they could trip on or hit their head on. Encourage them to leave their electronics at home and only cross at traffic lights and crosswalks. If your child is old enough to trick or treat on their own, make sure they have a trusted group of friends and that they stick to familiar areas that are well lit.
Ensure Costumes Are Safe and Properly Fitting
Long costumes with full-face masks are trip hazards to avoid.. When purchasing a Halloween costume, make sure it fits properly and it’s appropriate for their age and the climate, including any accessories such as shoes and hats. If the costume requires a mask, talk to your child about using non-toxic face paint instead so their vision isn’t obstructed. Regardless, you should add some kind of reflective tape to your child’s costume, or have them carry a flashlight around so they can be seen by motorists. As for decorative contact lenses, although they are fun to use they can cause pain and inflammation in the eyes. If your child wants to wear colored contacts, make sure to check with their eye care professional before allowing them to do so.
Teach Your Children the Importance of Safety
Since your children are going to be out and about, it’s important that they know what to do in an emergency and how to tell if something is off. Remind them to only visit homes with the porch light on. This is the universal signal for participating in trick or treating, and homes without lights should be completely avoided. It’s also important to remind them that no one should require them to go to their car or inside their home in order to get candy. If you can teach them the signs of unusual stranger behavior and how to make a 9-1-1 call, both you and your child will feel more comfortable with them venturing out for trick or treating.
Educate Your Children About Allergies
Halloween can be a dangerous time for children with food allergies. Even though they know they are allergic to things, many treats have nuts or dairy snuck into them without you even realizing it. If you have a child with severe food allergies, remind them not to eat anything until you or another approved adult checks the labels to ensure it’s safe. After trick or treating is over, organize a candy swap with your child’s friends so they can exchange what they can’t eat. Many kids are happy to take some nutty candy off their friend’s hands.
As A Driver, Watch Out For Trick or Treating Kids
If you are out driving on Halloween night you’re bound to run into some trick-or-treating kids. In fact, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. As a driver, it’s your duty to make sure you do your part to get kids home safely at the end of the night. Drive at a slower speed than normal, especially if you are in a residential area or if you see children walking. Taking extra time to stop or yield at lights, stop signs, and intersections can help reduce your chances of an accident. All distractions should be put away and your sole focus should be on the road. If you are entering and exiting driveways, be on the extra lookout for kids as they often do not think of driveways as a place to look left and right.
Contact Peds East
If your child has a mild allergic reaction, schedule an appointment with your pediatrician or our pediatric dietician to discuss potential food allergies. We hope you and your family have a safe and spooky Halloween!