Keeping kids safe during Halloween
Published 10:07 am Monday, October 26, 2015
With only a week away from the big night of tricks and treats, families across the area are gearing up for the time-honored festivities associated with Saturday’s All Hallows Eve.
Be it picking out (or helping to make) costumes to wear while going door to door or helping to create Jack-O-Lanterns to decorate their homes, there’s plenty of ways for kids to get involved with the Halloween festivities, up to and including Trick or Treating.
Unfortunately, there’s also plenty of ways for them to end up hurting themselves in the process.
In order to ensure that everyone enjoys safe experience this week, the Michigan Primary Care Consortium is offering families the following safety tips to follow:
• With young children, suggest painting or decorating the pumpkin rather than carving.
• With a carved pumpkin, take time when cutting. Place lit pumpkins on a flat; sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Ensure children don’t play near lit jack-o-lanterns. You can also opt to light carved pumpkins with flashlights or battery operated candles.
• Bright colors are best advised and always buy flame retardant costumes.
• Consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
• If the weather is chilly, size the costume right so warm clothes can be worn.
• If you have the option, bypass the mask (they slip and obstruct vision), use kid-friendly make-up. Be certain to test for any allergy or related reactions. Also, wash off the make-up before going to bed.
• Limit accessories which might be dangerous such as wands, swords or knives, and related items.
Trick or Treat with Care
• For welcoming households or business firms, be certain to have appropriate lighting toward and at your entrance.
• If you have a pet – best to keep them away from the doorway. Some people don’t like pets and some pets don’t like people.
• Young children should always trick-or-treat with a trusted and responsible adult.
• Carry a flashlight (bring extra batteries or another unit), watch, cellular telephone, and extra trick-or-treat bags in case those in use tear.
• Walk – don’t run. Stay on sidewalks and driveways rather than streets or parking lots. Cross only at designated cross walk areas.
• Only visit households or businesses with their lights on.
• Accept treats at the doorway. Never enter a residence or business.
• Prior to trick-or-treating, establish ground rules, travel area, and time frames.
• Instead of sugary treats, consider giving out stickers, unsharpened pencils, pens, rubber insects/toys, colored chalk, or similar safe items.
Examine the Treats
• Don’t snack on your bag of goodies while trick-or-treating. Have dinner or a snack before heading out to trick-or- treat.
• Help your child inspect treats before consuming. Anything of an unusual nature, torn packaging, or suspicious – best to discard.
• Homemade treats should be avoided.
• If the trick-or-treater has a food allergy, be certain to inspect the packaging and labeling.
• Choking hazards are peanuts, gum, hard candies, and related foods.
• Ration the treats and consider having a candy swap.
We encourage families to follow these simple precautions, and have a fun, spooky, and injury-free week of Halloween excitement.
Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.