By: Dr. Eric Levene, Chester Pediatrics (White Plains, NY)
Halloween is almost here. We are spending time decorating our homes, schools, and offices. We are planning parties for our kids as well as for parents. We are putting the finishing touches on our homes and costumes for both adults and kids.
It’s time then to remind everyone of a few safety tips so we can all enjoy the day. It is important whether we are with our kids trick or treating or biting our nails while they are out on their own, that we keep the following in mind.
You are decorating your home, and pumpkin carving is a fun family activity. Give your child markers to draw on their pumpkin, let the adults do the carving. Consider an electric light instead of candle to light the jack-o-lantern. Check your steps for anything a child could trip on when coming to your door. Replace any burned-out bulbs, and sweep away any wet leaves.
Some costumes take planning and time, and some children may throw it together that morning. Decorate the costumes and bags with reflective material. Instead of a mask, us face paint or make up. Do a test patch before Halloween to make sure your child does not have a reaction to it. Make sure your child can see in their costume and they are not tripping over excess material. Sneakers that fit well will avoid many issues. If you are buying the costume, make sure it is flame resistant. Use glow sticks or electric lights in clear treat bags to allow your child to be seen better at night.
While trick or treating put the electronic devices away and look ahead. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks always walk facing traffic. While crossing the street, remember the left right left rule when crossing. Teach the kids to make eye contact with the drivers before crossing. Remind the younger kids no racing out into the street. Remind your older kids to stay in groups, only go to homes with lights on and never enter anyone’s home. They should have a cellphone for emergencies.
Please remind your kids not to eat any candy they have collected until an adult has had a chance to look at it.
If you are driving on Halloween night, SLOW DOWN. Kids don’t always remember the rules. Take an extra look at intersections and driveways. Remind your teen drivers to put their phones down.
Have a safe and fun Halloween!