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October 24, 2018

Ask the Doctor: Halloween safety tips for a ghoulishly good time

By Tampa Bay Parenting

Don’t be ghoulish! Dr. Jill shares tips on how to keep your little goblins safe this Halloween!

Our favorite tips:

-Before you head out for a night of trick-or-treating, feed children a healthy, belly-filling meal. They will be less likely to want to overindulge in the candy!
-Consider handing out non-food treats like pencils, crayons or coloring books.

Treats and candy:
-Make sure to sort the treats with your kids at the end of the evening. Check for opened or damaged candy and, of course, pick out your favorites!
-Consider bringing extra candy to your place of work!
-Watch for choking hazards with younger kids.
-Avoid homemade treats by strangers.

Costume safety:
-Choose light colors that are bright and reflective and make sure the fabric is flame resistant.
-Make sure the costume fits. Trip and fall accidents are common and this is where many injuries occur.
-Choose costume accessories that are soft and flexible.

-Use non-toxic face paint and be sure to remove all face paint prior to going to bed.
-Do not use decorative contact lenses.
-Skip masks if possible and choose face paint and wigs
-Use glow sticks and flashlights

Pumpkin carving safety:
-Small children should not carve. Consider having them draw the face for the adult to crave into the pumpkin.
-Consider glitter, glue, paint or markers to decorate your pumpkin!
-Glow sticks are a fun alternative to candles to illuminate the pumpkin.

-Make sure candlelit pumpkins are on a sturdy table and away from anything flammable.

General rules for a safe Halloween:
-Stay in a group; never trick or treat alone. Adults should supervise children.
-If kids are older and going alone, make sure you set curfews so that they are home safe at a certain time.
-Only walk up to well-lit homes.
-Walk, don’t run. Look left and look right before crossing the street and do not dart across the street.
-Pay attention—stay off your cell phone and enjoy!
-As a homeowner, make sure you control your pets. Many children are frightened of them.
-Cross streets at corners and use traffic signals.
-Drive safely and watch for children, especially during the most common times for trick or treating, which are  5:30pm-9:30pm.

Most importantly, have fun and watch out for the little ghouls and goblins! 

*This article was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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