On a night known for its mischief, parents should not have to live in fear for the safety of their children. To help ensure little witches and warlocks enjoy a safe Halloween, Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a few quick safety tips.
• Be sure your child’s costume is large enough to be worn over warm clothes but is not so long he/she could trip. Bright, colorful costumes that reflect light and can be seen easily by drivers are best. Choose costume accessories and/or props keeping in mind that all items should be flame resistant. Shoes should be comfortable and safe for walking.
• Stick with make-up or face paint for finishing touches to a costume. Wigs and masks could interfere with your child’s vision.
• Trick-or-treat with your child and visit homes that you know well. Remind him/her to walk, stay on sidewalks and cross streets at crosswalks or well-lighted intersections. Try to finish trick-or-treating before dark but have a flashlight handy just in case.
• Remember, pedestrian safety is a much more important safety issue than candy tampering on Halloween.
• Check your child’s treats and throw away anything that is not securely wrapped. Do not allow your child to eat any candy until you or another adult in your household has checked it for tampering. The wrapper should be intact on all candy and fruit should be undamaged, washed and cut before eating.
• Do not permit children to eat homemade treats unless you know and trust the person who made them.
• To help kids endure trick-or-treating and the wait until they can dig into their goodie bag at home, feed them before going out and take along a few healthy treats in a separate bag for snacking.
• Young children should not have gum, nuts, hard candies, seeds or other choking hazards such as toys with small parts.
• Call the police if you suspect tampering – tasting is not a safe way to test.
• Call the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (1-800-222-1222) if your child swallows something suspicious or potentially harmful. The Poison Center is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and staffed with pharmacists and nurses specially trained in poison treatment.
• Consider hosting a Halloween party instead of sending kids trick-or-treating.
• Monitor how much candy children eat or their bellies may haunt them later.
• Paint your pumpkins. Carving knives are dangerous and the candles used inside carved pumpkins are fire hazards. If you light a jack-o-lantern this year, keep it away from your front door or porch so little costumes do not catch fire. Never leave a lighted pumpkin unattended. Another option for lighting your pumpkin is to use flameless candles.
• Leave on both your indoor and outdoor lights if you want visits from trick-or-treaters.
• Clear the walkway to your door of decorations, hoses, toys, wet leaves or other items that could injure hurrying children.
• Do not hand out homemade items as Halloween treats.