Halloween is a highlight of the year for kids-but this delightfully spooky holiday also comes with an increased risk of injury. Protect your young trick-or-treaters by following these essential tips for a safe and fun Halloween:
- Practice costume safety.
Make sure all costumes, wigs, and accessories are fire-resistant, as your kids could encounter anything from jack-o-lantern candle flames to a neighbor's bonfire while trick-or-treating. An ill-fitting or uncomfortable costume can also make or break your child's Halloween. Try before you buy, and ensure that the costume doesn't pose a tripping hazard.
- Choose makeup wisely.
Many kids have sensitive skin. Choose nontoxic cosmetic products and test makeup on a small area first to see if any irritation occurs. At the end of the night, follow the product's instructions to fully remove all makeup.
- Rethink the mask.
Masks can obscure kids' vision, making it difficult for them to see traffic or tripping hazards. Instead, plan a mask-free costume-the options are endless!
- Prepare for the scare.
Especially for young children, Halloween sights and sounds can be intense. It may help to have a discussion in advance about the difference between reality and "make believe." Reassure kids that it's OK to feel nervous. If they aren't ready for the haunted house this year, maybe they can try next year.
- Give kids a refresher on traffic safety.
In the excitement of the holiday, even older kids may forget the traffic-safety rules they follow every day. Sadly, the consequences can be deadly-children have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than on any other day. So, it's extra important to remind kids how to cross the street safely.
- Increase your child's visibility.
Halloween costumes often feature dark colors, making kids harder to see at night. Choose a lighter-colored costume if possible, and pass out glow sticks or use reflective tape to ensure kids are visible to motorists.
- Encourage kids to stay together.
Even if you will be accompanying your children, remind them to stick with your group at all times. For older kids who will be trick-or-treating without your supervision, the buddy system is essential. Make sure their phones are charged in case they become separated from their friends.
- Have kids stick to familiar, well-lit areas.
If you won't be accompanying your older kids on Halloween night, discuss their route in advance and remind them to stay in your neighborhood. Reiterate that they should never enter a stranger's house or accept a ride from someone they don't know.
- Check all treats.
While stories of Halloween candy tampering are mostly urban legends, it never hurts to be safe. Inspect your child's candy before they indulge and make sure to remove any treats that aren't age-appropriate-such as gum or jawbreakers your toddler could choke on.
- Be mindful of allergies.
Emergency room visits due to peanut and tree nut allergies surge on Halloween. If your child has an allergy that keeps them from eating many kinds of candy, consider stocking up on allergy-friendly treats and have your child swap out their haul at the end of the night.