Halloween Safety 101
By Jennifer Seawell, MD, FAAP
Most kids love Halloween. A day to dress up, interact with friends, and eat candy. What’s not to like? We all know there are dangers associated with dressing up and roaming the streets at night taking candy from strangers (sounds a lot worse that way, doesn’t it!). But if we all do our part, we can make Halloween safer for our kids.. and still have fun!
Although the world comes to a standstill for our kids on Halloween, we all know it keeps on moving for everyone else. So we still need to watch for cars and kids.
If you are walking with your kids on Halloween night, keep a close watch for drivers. If you are on main roads, make sure to cross the street at crossways or stop signs. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Make sure they know you’re crossing before you step into the road.
If you are driving around kiddos on Halloween night or maybe just driving home after work, be extra careful. Go a little slower. Watch for kids running down driveways. Excited kids and loads of sugar don’t always mix.
Ensure good supervision
Halloween is a fun night. But make sure your kiddos are well supervised going door to door. Make sure that older children who are bringing younger kids trick-or-treating are responsible enough to do so. Younger kids should nearly always be supervised by an adult.
Keep the costumes safe
Make sure that your costumed child will still be able to be seen by cars on Halloween night. Consider costumes with reflective properties so that cars can see them. Or make sure they are carrying a flashlight or glow-gear. Remember that really long costumes can easily become tripping hazards.
Strangers are still strangers on Halloween
Remind your children that strangers are still strangers on Halloween. Just because a neighbor seems friendly and gives out lots of candy doesn’t mean it’s ok to go into their homes.
Watch the candy
Before letting your kids gorge themselves on their goodies, go through all the candy. Remove anything with packaging that is damaged. Also take out items that aren’t really appropriate for the age of your kid. Remove hard candies that can be choking hazards in younger kids. If you have a kid in braces, take out the items with nuts and taffy. And even if you’ve approved the items in your kids’ bags, do not let them run around with suckers or candy in their mouths. Choking is a real hazard and it is scary and dangerous.
Stay safe and HAVE FUN this Halloween!