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Halloween Safety Tips

You can tell we’re entering the holiday season by the plethora of gaudy displays going up in mega grocery stores and malls.  Enormous bags of candy are already filling the...

You can tell we’re entering the holiday season by the plethora of gaudy displays going up in mega grocery stores and malls.  Enormous bags of candy are already filling the shelves and in less than two weeks kids will be hitting the streets carrying on the tradition of celebrating Halloween.

Along with the kid’s fun comes parental responsibility. You can’t protect your child from everything, but there are some tips for keeping your little ones safe.

You can start by preventing fires and burns.

  • Select flame retardant materials when buying or making costumes.
  • Choose battery-operated candles and lights instead of open-flame candles.

The next step is make sure your child can see clearly where they are going and can be seen.

  • Trim costumes or clothing with reflective tape. Many costumes are dark in color and can’t easily be seen by drivers.
  • Give your child a small flashlight or glow stick to carry with them if they are trick- or- treating after dusk.

Store bought costumes rarely fit properly, so you may need to make some adjustments.

  • Adjust costumes to ensure a good fit. Long skirts or capes can drag on the ground and cause falls.
  • Secure hats, scarves and masks to ensure that your child can see everything that is going on around them. Also, check to see that nothing is keeping your child from breathing properly. Masks and some super-hero helmets can fit too tightly, making it hard to breathe.
  • Make sure that swords, canes or sticks are not sharp.

Colored contacts have become popular with some older children. Often the packets these contacts come in have advertising on the package claiming that, “One size fits all.” They don’t.  These lenses are illegal in some states, but can be found online. They may cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye infections. Avoid these at all costs.

How old should children be before they can be unaccompanied by an adult? There is no correct answer to that question. An adult should always accompany young children. When your child is about ten, they may start asking to go with their friends. There are some questions to think about before you decide to let them.

  • What is your child’s maturity level? Do they normally act pretty responsible and make good choices?
  • Who are the friends they want to go with and what is their maturity level?
  • What area are they going to be trick-or-treating in?  Will it be local or in an area your child may not be familiar with?
  • What time do they plan to start and be back home? Give your child a definite time.

Whether your child is with you or out with friends make sure someone has a charged cell phone with them.  You want be prepared in case of an emergency.

Halloween has changed over the years and lots of parents now take their children to specific places that host Halloween parties and activities, but whether it’s in a controlled environment or out on the streets, it’s still smart to keep safety first.

Sources: http://www.cpsc.gov/Global

http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx

Dr. Karen Sherman, http://www.hitchedmag.com/article.php?id=365

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About Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Dr. Sue Hubbard is an award winning pediatrician and medical editor for www.kidsdr.com.  She is a native of Washington, D.C. who travelled south to attend the University of Texas at Austin and never left.Read More

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