It's Halloween! Every child's favorite time of year when they actually have PERMISSION to take candy from strangers! Use these tips to keep you little ghosts and goblins safe this year:
When considering costumes to make or purchase, choose costumes that are bright and reflective, short enough to prevent tripping or tangling, and are flame-retardant.
Because masks can limit or block eyesight, use non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes, and make-up should be tested for allergic reactions by putting it on a small patch of skin first. Remove makeup before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible to prevent injury if your child should trip or fall.
For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, add reflective tape or striping to dark costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags, or wear glow necklaces and glow bracelets.
To easily see and be seen while Trick-or-Treating, children should carry flashlights.
Never Trick-or-Treat alone. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. Older children should always travel in groups.
Children's risk of being hit by a car doubles on Halloween, remind them continually about pedestrian safety.
Always walk younger children to the door to receive treats and never allow them to enter a home unless you are with them.
Poisoned candy? Largely an urban myth! However, with the rise in availability of marijuana edibles and similar products, it's possible for someone to mistakenly give your child a dangerous treat. Examine all treats for choking hazards, look at wrappers to ensure they are candy and not edibles (some edibles packaging looks similar to big brand candy), and avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the giver well.
If older children are going out unchaperoned, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home. Have them carry a cell phone or walkie-talkie and check in with you periodically during the evening, especially if they change their route. Using a family tracker app while they're out trick-or-treating can also help with safety.
Children should know your phone number and their home address in case you get separated. For little ones, pin a note inside their costume with your contact info.
Remind children to be alert and to report
suspicious incidents to parents and/or police. Children should never approach
any vehicle, occupied or not, unless you are with them.