With all of the excitement from this holiday we can sometimes forget about being cautious and careful when we hit the streets to trick or treat. We want to make sure your little ones have the safest and best time with their family and friends all dressed up in their favorite costume. Check out some tips below to help make this Halloween the fun and safe for your entire family.
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.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- 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. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
- 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. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
- Make sure you put your stroller in a secure area if leaving outside of a building. Use a stroller lock if available.
- Strap your child in the stroller to prevent him/her from falling out.
- Only cross the street in a cross walk.
- Use the brakes on the stroller when not in use.
- Lots of costumes can be big and bulky. It's always best to slip them on your child once they are out of the stroller as the buckles wont fit as snug as they should. It can also be very uncomfortable for the kids to be sitting for long periods of time in a sweaty costume.
ON THE TRICK-OR-TREAT TRAIL:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children.
- 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 buildings that you are familiar with.
- If you are trick or treating in New York City, chances are you will be visiting many apartment buildings. Walking a building feels likes an entire neighborhood to most kids. You won't want to wait for the elevator and will most likely be walking the stairwells. Make sure your children wear comfortable shoes. Forgo the princess heels and put on the sneakers! (adults too)
- For an outdoors trick or treat experience walk down Madison Avenue or any other street where stores are open late. The sales people love to see the kids dressed up and will sometimes give our goodies! Many of these streets are a well-lit safe place to walk.
- Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Carry a cell phone 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.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- 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.
- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.
Let's Have Some Fun
If you're looking for some fun and spooktacular crafts and treats to celebrate Halloween, check out our Halloween Pinterest Board!
Safety Information provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics