Thursday, October 16, 2014

Keeping Children Safe this Halloween

It’s that time of year again when ghosts, goblins, princesses and fairies will roam the neighborhoods asking you for a trick or treat. But as adults and parents, it’s always in good practice to make sure that children’s costumes not only look great, but are safe. Here are some Halloween safety tips to help make yours and your child’s evening of candy and sweets safe and fun!

  • Keep free-flowing objects on your child’s costume in mind. Dangling, long trailing fabrics, wigs, sleeves and pants may cause tripping and falling.
  • Be aware of open flames where the costume might catch fire. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, over 900 incidents a year occur from decorations being caught on fire.
  • Wear well-fitting costumes. Make sure your child wears fitted masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
  • Make sure your child’s props are safe. If a costume has a prop such as a sword, knife or wand, be sure that it is soft and flexible to prevent injury. A study has shown that 40% of parents allow at least one or more unsafe items to be used on Halloween.*
  • Examine candy before allowing your child to eat it. Make sure items are factory wrapped and have not been altered in any way. Also, check the ingredients list to make sure candy does not contain any allergens that may affect your child such as peanuts, milk and soy.
  • Test make-up before applying it. Test it on a small area of skin first to avoid possible skin or eye irritation. Make sure to remove any make-up before going to bed to avoid long-term exposure and possible irritation.
  • Have children carry around a flashlight. Reflective material or tape can be used on their candy bags to be easily spotted by cars and others. When crossing the street, be sure to look both ways and to use traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • The prime time for trick-or-treating is between 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. It is also recommended that children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating. 

Remember these safety tips and have fun this year!

*Mickalide, AD, Rosenthal, KM, Donahue, MP. Halloween Safety: A National Survey of Parents' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors. Washington (DC): Safe Kids Worldwide, October 2011.

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