This blog post first appeared on Kids HealthLine, courtesy of Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent.
Make this Halloween one to remember for fun and creativity—not a trip to the emergency department. Simple precautions can make for a fun and safe Halloween. Halloween presents a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to have fun together—and more than any other holiday, it requires extra attention to safety concerns.
- Pumpkin-carving: Younger children can draw faces that an adult cuts out. The safest candle option is a votive — or up your jack-o-lantern’s safety quotient by using a glow stick or battery-powered light.
- Costume Tips:
- When choosing which superhero or cartoon character for your child to be, consider visibility and ease of movement for each costume.
- Costumes that are bright or reflective help keep kids safer in fading light. Parents can add reflective tape to trick-or-treat bags or costumes to ensure motorists can see children crossing roadways or driveways. Glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets are also great options to help visibility.
- Hats and shoes should fit properly to minimize the risk of tripping or obscured vision.
- Makeup approved for use on faces can be a good alternative to masks that limit trick-or-treaters’ ability to see.
- Swords, wands, and other costume props should be flexible, short,and soft to prevent injuries.
- Trick-or-Treating Tips:
- Always accompany small children while trick-or-treating.
- Parents should establish a safe trick-or-treating route and time to return home with older children–who should still go out in a group.
- Teach your child to walk on sidewalks or at the edge of roadways facing traffic.
- Flashlights and glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets can help your children find their way and be seen by drivers.
- Children should know never to enter a home for a treat. They should also avoid cutting across lawns or alleys and stick to sidewalks and designated places to cross the street.
- Candy: Wait until you get home to examine and eat candy. A responsible adult should weed out choking hazards, items in open packages, homemade items or anything suspicious.
- Handing out candy: Parents who plan to hand out candy should prepare yards and front porches by removing garden hoses, lawn ornaments and tools children might trip over in the dark. All outdoor lights should have working bulbs, and sidewalks should be swept of wet leaves or other slipping hazards. This way, no one gets hurt – and everybody has fun!