Avoid ‘Nightmares’ This Halloween With These Simple Tips
Trick-or-treat is one of the much-awaited fun activities for Halloween, particularly children who are on the look-out for hoarding goodies with friends. But to maximize Halloween fun for the little ones, a Loyola Medicine pediatrician warns parents to be be more vigilant on some important trick-or-treating safety tips.
Teresa Jensen, MD., a primary care physician and pediatrician, said, “Halloween is always a fun holiday for kids, but there are some things parents need to be aware of to make sure it stays enjoyable for everyone.”
Here are the important tips to avoid accidents and hassles for a fun-filled spooky Halloween holiday:
1.Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
According to Dr. Jensen, parents must see to it the Halloween costumes of their children must be safe to wear, and not accident-prone. Aside that it should fit perfectly, the costume must be comfortable to prevent trips and falls.
Makeup should be checked as well if it is safe for children, avoiding potential allergic reaction on the big day.
Also, Dr. Jensen advised parents to place reflective tape or stickers on costumes or treat bags. In this way, children will still be seen when walking around after dusk for trick-or-treating.
Dr. Jensen said. “You want to make sure children are as visible as possible when they are out after dark, especially if their costume is dark colored.”
2. Trick-or-Treating Safety
Keeping your children safe on Halloween night must be the highest priority for parents. That is why Dr. Jensen offers guidelines for safely trick-or-treating.
“You want to go over basic safety guidelines and traffic rules with your children,” Dr. Jensen said. “Even teens can use a reminder to be cautious when crossing the street in the dark.”
For young children: Attach an emergency contact card to your child’s costume or tuck inside his or her treat bags in case you get separated. Rehearse addresses and phone numbers.
Grade school and junior high children: Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. An adult should be nearby at all times when trick-or-treating.
Teens: Head out in groups on a pre-planned route with a set time to return home. If someone is bringing a cell phone, check to make sure it’s fully charged. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
3. Food Safety
Allergy breakouts can be avoided during the Halloween if only parents are keen on checking the collected goodies and candies for possible allergens. Parents should give them a light meal or snack before they head out. It is a no no to send them out on an empty stomach. In addition, encourage the children to wait until they get home and let their parents inspect their loot before they eat any of it. In this way, choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys are set aside.
“Rehearse with children how they can ask about allergens or direct children to save all the treats to sort when they get home,” Dr. Jensen said. “Families should also consider having a separate bowl for children with common food allergies, including peanuts, nuts and wheat.”