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Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatricse.
ALL DRESSED UP: Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.
Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
CARVING A NICHE: Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.
Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin.
HOME SAFE HOME: To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, residents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
Check outdoor lights and replace bulbs.
Wet leaves or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL: A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
Remind Trick-or-Treaters that pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween.
Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
Never cut across yards or use alleys.
Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars.
Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
HEALTHY HALLOWEEN: A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
Wait until children are home to sort and check treats.