As a favorite holiday among many of our little patients, Halloween is a great time for families and friends to dress up and have a spooky good time.
Oftentimes, though, we see that there are more tricks than treats that lurk around Halloween celebrations. To help you keep an eye out for these scary surprises, and to keep your family’s focus on all the fun that is brewing, we have created a guide to Halloween safety.
Trick 1: Candy
For many kids, one of the best things about Halloween is the haul of candy that comes from trick-or-treating. As the parent, there are a few things to look out for when checking your child’s candy:
Toss Opened Candy
It isn’t worth the risk to eat candy that has an opened package. While it is rare that candy has been tampered with (poisoned, drugged, etc.), it is still safer to dispose of candy if the wrapper has been torn or removed.
Lookout For Hazards
Just as you would with your child’s food, be aware of what is going in his or her mouth. Hard, chewy, or large candies increase the risk of choking. Take worrisome candies to the side; it is easier to take this candy away than to have the stress and fear of a choking child!
Another common hazard to note is peanut allergies, whether your child’s or another child’s. Many Halloween candies, especially chocolates, include peanuts; be mindful of others when purchasing your candy for the holiday.
Watch Candy Intake
It’s easy to get carried away on Halloween. We recommend allowing kids to have a little candy at a time to avoid any stomach pains or headaches. Keeping candy intake to a minimum is in your best interest; no one wants to put a child with a sugar high to bed! Set limits and everyone will be happy.
Trick 2: Costumes
Whether your child has had their costume planned for months, or they are waiting to decide until Halloween arrives, we have a few tips to make costumes safe for everyone:
Beware Of Accessories
Sometimes costume accessories can cause injuries among kids. Make sure younger kids are playing safely with any costume items that can hurt others (a pirate’s sword, a jedi’s light saber, or even a fairy’s wand!). Talk to your kids about these items, and remind them to play nicely.
Wear Light Colors
Especially in the evening hours, it can be difficult for kids to be seen in the dark. It gets even more difficult when kids are clad in completely dark colors. Opt for a light costume to increase visibility at night.
If light colors aren’t possible in your child’s costume (for all the ninjas and witches out there), add some light to costumes in a different way. Have your child carry a flashlight, tag glow sticks onto their trick-or-treat bag, or add reflective tape to their shoes.
Trick 3: Cars
As mentioned in the section above, it is important that kids are aware of cars when they are out trick-or-treating. Here are a few things to remember:
Safety In Numbers
Keep everyone in your trick-or-treating group in a buddy system. Remind kids to stick with their friends and not to run ahead (or stay behind) the group.
Look Both Ways
Hold hands and look both ways before crossing every street, no matter how quiet your neighborhood is! You never know when a car may be passing through unexpectedly.
If you are driving on Halloween night, remember to drive like your kids are trick-or-treating. Be extra cautious of children who may be out. Especially since Halloween is on a Monday this year, there will likely be celebrations happening in neighborhoods all weekend long.
Trick 4: Carving
Another favorite Halloween tradition is pumpkin carving. When you’re making the perfect jack-o-lantern, make sure everyone in your family is safe.
Keep Tools Out Of Little Hands
Only adults should do the actual pumpkin carving. Even when you are not carving, keep knives and other carving tools out of reach.
Wear Protective Gear
Lead by example when carving. Keep yourself protected with gloves and remind kids that the carving tools are not toys.
There are plenty of other creative ways for your kids to decorate for Halloween! Instead of carving pumpkins, kids can color or paint on pumpkins; you can make your own trick-or-treat bags by decorating blank totes; or, you can make little ghosts to hang around your home or in trees, using tissues and twine.
Trick 5: Contact Your Pediatrician
If you ever have questions regarding your child’s safety, please contact your pediatrician at Pediatrics East. From creepy, crawly colds to scary shots, our doctors know how to treat our littlest patients with the care and kindness they need.
As Halloween – and the rest of the holiday season – approaches, we are here for you and your family during this busy time. Schedule an appointment today to stay ahead of cold and flu season, and to let us answer any health questions you may have.