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Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

WFLA News Channel 8

Everyone likes a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to your child’s safety. More than twice as many children are killed in pedestrian incidents on Halloween between 4 and 10 p.m. as the same time on any other day during the year, according to SafeKids.org. Kids also can become injured due to their costumes and numerous choking hazards.

There are some simple precautions parents can take to help make sure their children get more treats than tricks this year, and ways to keep everyone safe for a fun Halloween.

Choose Safe Costumes

Costume Safety Tips (1)

Choosing or making a costume can be a big decision for your kids, but make sure that you are involved in buying or making it so that you can make sure it is safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that you should plan costumes that are bright and reflective or putting reflective tape on your child’s bag and costume to make it easier to find them if they get lost while trick-or-treating and make them more visible to cars. You can also give your kids glow sticks or flashlights to carry to help keep them visible to vehicles. Make sure your kids understand that cars may not be able to see them so that they will understand why they need to stay on the sidewalk.

Another important thing to remember when you buy a costume, is to make sure it is labeled “Flame Retardant”, according to KidsHealth.org. This means that the material won’t burn in the event that your child bumps into a flame or jack-o-lantern candle. You should also make sure wigs and beards don’t cover your child’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

Try to encourage your children to choose costumes that don’t have masks, which can make it hard for kids to see and breathe. If your child is wearing a mask that covers their eyes, they may walk in front of a vehicle or fall and injure themselves. Instead, use a nontoxic face paint or make-up. It might seem obvious, but make sure that if your child has a sword or other tool that it is rubber and flexible so that they will not fall on it and become injured.

You should also make sure that your kids aren’t using Halloween contact lenses, which can cause corneal scratches and even blindness, according to BayCare.

Give Kids a Plan

Having a plan on Halloween can cut down on the confusion that can happen when your kids and your family are in different parts of the neighborhood. Set meeting times and let your kids know how far they are allowed to venture out into the neighborhood. If your child is under 12, you should accompany them when trick-or-treating, even if you live in a small neighborhood. Make sure that kids over 12 keep a phone with them so that they can easily call for help if they are hurt.

Halloween can bring everyone outside, including people who are trying to do more than just spook your kids. Let your kids know that if they feel scared or afraid to approach a house when trick-or-treating that it is okay to skip that house. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to teach kids to only approach houses with the porch light on and to never enter a home. If your child wants to enter a haunted house, make sure that they have an adult to accompany them.

If your kids want to go into haunted houses or do activities that you are not comfortable with, consider setting up a ghoulish game, like “Dead Fred” or “Mummy Making” for your kids.

Limit the Candy Intake

Kids look forward to filling their bags with candy on Halloween, but if your kids scarf down gobs of candy they risk more than just a tummy ache. When your kids decide to dig into their candy while they walk, they risk choking, according to KidsHealth.org. One way that you can combat the constant candy eating is to make sure that your kids eat a full meal before they go out trick-or-treating.

You may want to give your kids a little more candy than usual on Halloween night, but after that you should store the candy in another room and only allow your kids to have a little bit at a time to avoid excessive tummy aches.

Make sure to check your kids’ candy, and remove any small candy or toys, like plastic rings, that your little ones might choke on if you have younger kids. Don’t allow your kids to eat anything that is unwrapped or unsealed.

Halloween doesn’t have to mean hidden dangers will ruin your fun if you are prepared. For more safety tips, fun games, and costume ideas, visit TBParenting.com.

Bad costumes together

Safe Costumes all together

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