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Healthy Balance

Halloween Safety: Tips for a Real Treat

Halloween. It’s one of the most exciting nights of the year for many children. But it’s also full of many hazards and scares that aren’t fun at all.

UVA Children’s Hospital offers the following tips to help keep this Halloween a safe one.

Choosing the Right Costume

  • Plan costumes that are easy to see in the dark. Reflective stickers, blinking lights or “glow” necklaces can add fun and safety to many costumes and they’re easy to find in stores.
  • Choose costumes without masks. Masks can limit your child’s vision. Makeup and hats are safer options.
  • Make sure any costumes, wigs, etc. are clearly marked flame resistant. And if you make your child’s costume, be sure you use flame-resistant materials.
  • Check costumes for sharp objects (like swords). Items made of very flexible material are best in case your child trips or falls.

Halloween Safety

  • Make sure children carry flashlights (check the batteries!) and that at least one person in the trick-or-treat group carries a cell phone and knows how to call for help.
  • Make sure a parent or responsible adult goes along with young children. If older children trick-or-treat alone, be sure to review their route and agree on a specific time they should return home.
  • Remind children only to go to homes with a porch light on and never to enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
  • Tell children always to use sidewalks or walk on the edge of the roadway facing traffic if no sidewalk is available.

What To Do With All That Candy

  • Wait until children are home to sort through and check treats. Though candy tampering is rare, it’s still smart to look for and get rid of any treats that are unwrapped, possibly spoiled or otherwise suspicious.
  • Ration treats so that your children don’t eat too many sugary foods at one time. Also have your child help you think of other ways to use the candy. For example, try saving some colorful candy to decorate gingerbread houses or holiday ornaments in the weeks ahead.

Welcoming Trick-or-Treaters to Your Door

  • Remove tripping hazards like bikes, toys or lawn ornaments from your yard. Make sure areas where children may walk are free of pet waste and wet leaves.
  • Have a plan to keep pets in a closed interior area or back fenced yard so they won’t jump on or bite a trick-or-treater
  • Consider buying non-food treats for trick-or-treaters like stickers, pencils or coloring books.

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