Halloween: Kids and teenagers get dressed up in the most creative costume they can find, candy is everywhere, face paint ends up on coat sleeves or (somehow) the furniture, houses are decorated with fake cobwebs and carved pumpkins, and old pillowcases are pulled out from cabinets to be used as candy receptacles. Halloween is fun, but Halloween can also be spooky and dangerous if kids and parents aren’t careful.
Even though we often trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods and go out every year without fear, consider safety precautions to ensure Halloween remains fun for everyone.
Stay with your crew
There is safety in numbers. Travel with a group and stick with your group as you go around to different houses. Don’t let anyone else leave the group either. Mapping out your trick-or-treating adventure beforehand can help make sure everyone hits their favorite houses and stays together.
Go where you know
To avoid getting lost, visit houses and neighborhoods you are familiar with. This can also help you avoid strangers. Also stay out of the road and only use sidewalks and crosswalks.
Bring flashlights or glow sticks and use them while you walk. Beware of that odd crack on the sidewalk or dropped curbs so you don’t trip! It’s getting darker earlier, so being able to see what’s in front of you is important. Using flashlights or glow sticks also help motorists and other vehicles see you.
Keep those hands clean
Bring some hand sanitizer along with you on trick-or-treating adventures. Freeman pediatricians see a lot of sick children after Halloween because everyone shares germs reaching into those candy bowls!
Wear the right attire
When choosing a super stellar outfit, you also need to consider the safety of your Halloween apparel. To avoid trips and falls, wear good, sturdy shoes and costumes and masks that fit.
Check your candy
We don’t want to take candy away from ourselves or from kids, but check the candy in bags before digging in. Some candies are dangerous for tots, like Skittles® or Everlasting Gobstoppers®, and not all kids can eat every candy safely due to allergies. Throw out any candy that may be dangerous or has an open wrapper, and avoid eating homemade goodies.
Freeman wants you and your loved ones to be as safe as possible this Halloween. Get dressed, heed these tips and have FUN!
Dr. Beth Garrett has been a pediatrician at Freeman Children’s Clinic for nine years. She is a member of the Missouri American Academy of Pediatrics (MOAAP) and is currently the membership committee chair. Dr. Garret also serves on the planning committee for MOAAP and is on the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism diagnostic team. She loves watching her patients grow and develop, and watching families thrive. She is located at Freeman Children’s Clinic, 1030 McIntosh Circle, 417.347.8750.