Trick or Treating Safety Tips
Halloween trick or treating can be a fun and memorable part of childhood. Unfortunately, trick or treating could also lead to many experiences that are memorable for all the wrong reasons.
If parents take the time to check on a few precautions, you can help ensure that Halloween remains a fun and safe time for your kids.
Courtesy of Laura McMullen of U.S. News & World Report, here are tips gathered from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and American Academy of Pediatrics.
1. Apply costume makeup and face paint wisely--Prevent skin reactions by using only paints intended for your skin, reading directions and checking the label to see if you should avoid the product near the eyes. Dab the product on your arm before trying it on your face to test for an allergic reaction, and throw away foul-smelling paints that could be spoiled. Before going to bed, remove the makeup or paint.
2. Check that your child's costume is safe--Costumes should be labeled as flame-resistant and fit appropriately to prevent tripping. So get rid of the vampire capes that drag on the ground and oversized witch hats that can mess with vision. If your child wears a mask, makes sure that it fits securely and allows him or her to breathe and see safely. Also make sure that fake knives, swords and other props are soft and flexible.
3. ...And reflective--Trim costumes and goody bags with reflective tape, which you can usually find at sporting good, bike and hardware stores. The tape will make your child more visible to cars while he or she is trick-or-treating. Grab flashlights and glow sticks to see and be seen.
4. Make a trick-or-treat game plan--Adults should take children trick-or-treating and set rules for older kids who don't need a chaperone. Teach older kids to skip houses that aren't lit, and never enter someone's home or car. Parents and their older kids should also establish a trick-or-treat route ahead of time and agree on a time and place to meet afterward.
5. While trick-or-treating, stick to the sidewalks--Use crosswalks when possible, and teach your children not to run across the street from between parked cars. Kids should walk - not run - from house to house. The really scary fact is that Halloween is one of the deadliest nights for pedestrians.
6. When you get back home, inspect your child's candy. Throw away treats that look like they were tampered with, spoiled or unwrapped.