As children live their fantasies this Halloween, parents should make safety a reality with these tips from the Physicians at Temple Pediatric Care, the pediatric primary care practice for Temple University Health System.
What to Wear
- Masks can obstruct a child's vision. Make sure eye holes are large enough to allow full vision. A safe alternative is to use make-up or face paint that is non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
- Costumes should be flame resistant and fit properly. Avoid oversized shoes and high heels. Skirts and pants should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
- Children who will be trick-or-treating after dusk should carry flashlights. Trim costumes and candy bags with reflective tape, which glows in the beam of automobile headlights.
Carve with Care
- Children under the age of five should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, then parents should do the cutting. Under parental supervision. older children can carve with pumpkin cutters equipped with safety bars.
- Place lighted pumpkins on a sturdy table that is away from curtains and other flammable objects.
- Never leave a candlelit pumpkin unattended.
Screen those Sweets
- Don't allow children to snack while trick-or-treating. Check all treats for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages. If you're not sure throw it away.
- Limit the amount of sweets a child eats in one day.
- Parents of young children under two years of age should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies and small toys.
- Only approach houses lit with outside lighting as a sign of welcome.
- Never enter houses or apartments.
- Children should walk, not run, from house to house.
- All children should trick-or-treat with an adult.
Your Home Safe Home
- Keep your property safe for visiting trick-or-treaters by removing obstacles such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
- Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps.