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halloweenTrick or treat! It’s that time of the year again, when kids hit the streets in their spookiest costumes in search of sweet goodies and holiday fun. Halloween can be a stressful time for parents, as we worry about our children’s safety. Whether your child is a firefighter, superhero or princess, make this Halloween both fun and safe by following these safety tips:

Costumes

·         Children should carry flashlights and their costumes should be light-colored and have reflective tape to highlight them, Candy bags should be marked with reflective tape as well.

·         Before purchasing a costume, be sure all parts of the costume are labeled flame retardant.

·         To avoid falls, costumes should not have trailing material or tails that drag to the ground.

·         Pointed objects such as swords and devils’ forks should be made of soft material.

·         Even the safest mask can impede a child’s peripheral vision. The best option is to use non-toxic face paint or makeup. If your child must wear a mask make sure the eye holes on your child’s mask are large enough for her to see through clearly.

Trick or Treating

·         Adults should always accompany children under 12.  If possible, take the little ones out early (before dusk). If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first!  Check with your town hall for alternate events or assigned trick-or-treat hours.

·         Have children stay in a group and know what neighborhoods they will be in. Discuss a time when they should be home.

·         Use sidewalks and only cross at the corners. Cover one side of the street at a time. Be extremely careful around traffic: many children (and adults) are struck by cars on Halloween.

·         Only approach houses that are well-lit and never go inside a stranger’s home.

·         Be careful around candles and open flames that are used as outdoor decorations.

·         Bring their bags home to be checked by an adult before eating a single treat. This is especially important for children with food allergies!

Checking Treats

·        Inspect all treats closely and throw out anything that appears unwrapped or tampered with. Be cautious with home-made foods or home-packaged foods unless you trust the source.

·        Take away treats that are not age appropriate. Young children can choke on things like hard candy or peanuts. Be alert for items that may cause an allergic reaction.

Make Halloween safe and fun for you and your family!

For more tips to enjoy a safe Halloween, check out these reliable websites:

http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/

http://www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips

Written By:


Immunization Coordinator

Immunization Coordinator in the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition

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