Scared safe; Have healthy fun on Halloween

October 31, 2016 | by Siva Krishnan, MD

Things are supposed to be scary on Halloween, right?

Well, the goal is to have fun being scared – safely. Nobody wants to cap off an evening of trick-or-treating in the emergency room.

Besides watching out for their nutrition (don’t overdo the candy!), you may also want to review some basic safety rules with your kids before they head out on Halloween.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers a great list of Halloween safety tips, including:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • Give flashlights with fresh batteries to all children and their escorts.
  • If older children are going alone, plan and review a 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.

To avoid pedestrian injuries, the academy recommends that kids:

  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Put reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • 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.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. 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!
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
  • 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. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.

Have fun, and stay safe this Halloween!

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