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October 10, 2019

Top 12 Halloween Safety Tips from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

By Dr. Rachel Dawkins

Halloween is a festive, fun and spooky time of year, but it can quickly turn downright scary with an unexpected trip to the emergency center. Two of the most common Halloween injuries that experts see at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital are kids being hit by a car or bicycle while trick-or-treating and accidental ingestions of glow sticks and glow jewelry.

Rachel Dawkins, M.D., medical director of the pediatric and adolescent medicine clinic at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, shares these Top 12 Halloween Safety Tips:

  1. Children under 12 should have adult supervision while trick-or-treating.
  2. Make sure that your kids are obeying traffic laws as they go from house to house—many kids get so excited that they dart across the streets without looking.
  3. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas, go in groups, carry a cell phone for emergencies and have a planned time to be home. 
  4. Remind kids not to chew on or break open glow sticks. If a child does ingest some of the material inside a glow-in-the-dark product, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
  5. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape and use light colors if possible. It makes children easier to see for passing motorists.
  6. Avoid masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision, and consider using face paint instead. Be sure to check the face paint ingredients for any possible skin allergies.
  7. Give kids a flashlight to carry to help them see and be seen.
  8. Make sure your child’s costume fits—this can prevent trips and falls.
  9. Inspect the candy and only allow kids to eat treats in original, unopened wrappers.
  10. Make sure none of the candy would be a choking hazard for your child.
  11. Think about limiting the number of pieces your child can have per day. Consider rationing the candy over the following days or even donating the candy.
  12. Keep candy and chocolate up and away from smaller children and pets.

Finally, it’s also very important for drivers to keep in mind that even if they see kids crossing the street, the kids may not see them simply because they are excited and may not be paying attention. 

“If you are out driving, make sure to be extra vigilant on the roads,” says Dawkins. “We want everyone to have fun on Halloween, but above all – safety comes first.”  

*Sponsored. This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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