Halloween is a fun time of year for kids. They get to dress up as their favorite character, go trick-or-treating and eat candy. But there can be hidden dangers for children as well. Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears offers the following guidelines so parents can ensure their children's safety during the festive holiday.
Make sure your child's costumes are safe
- Makeup should be non-toxic so it doesn't cause skin irritation or rashes.
- Costumes need to be fire retardant.
- Children should be able to see through masks without obstruction.
- Knives or swords should be soft — made out of cardboard or other flexible materials.
Prior to trick-or-treating, kids should:
- Eat a full dinner so they are not hungry and tempted to eat their candy.
- Memorize phone numbers and home address in case they get lost.
- Place reflective strips on their costumes so cars can easily spot them.
Important rules kids should follow on Halloween
- Use flashlights or glow sticks.
- If there is no sidewalk, walk toward oncoming cars, not in the same direction as the cars are moving.
- Don't ride a bike or wear rollerblades.
- Don't enter a stranger's house.
- Have a buddy system.
- Don't eat any candy before returning home — parents should inspect the sweets.
Review fire safety with your child
- With candles and jack-o-lanterns at every turn, kids can get burned. Make sure they know the "Stop, Drop and Roll" rule.
Make your home safe for trick-or-treaters
- Trim bushes back from the sidewalk.
- Remove flower pots kids can trip over.
- Make sure your outdoor lights are working properly.
- Secure pets inside or away in the backyard.