Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Safety Tips

Dr. Steven Horvitz- Reading between the Lines:
Bringing you healthcare information you can trust!
Halloween Safety Tips- from
Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it is also an important time to be extra vigilant for possible safety hazards so that your children have a fun and safe Halloween.
Some tips to make Halloween safe include:

Costume safety

  • choose a costume made of flame retardant material
  • costumes should be short enough so that they don't cause your child to trip and fall,
  • for good visibility, add some reflective tape to the costume or bag he is using to carry candy or make/choose a costume made of bright material that is visible in the dark
  • masks should fit securely and allow your child to see well and not hinder visibility
  • if using face paint, make sure it is nontoxic and hypoallergenic
  • knives, swords and other props should be made of a flexible material, so that they don't pose a hazard if fallen on
Trick-or-Treating safety
  • children should be well supervised by an adult when trick-or-treating. Older children should trick-or-treat in large groups in well known neighborhoods.
  • carry a flashlight
  • stick to well lit houses in familiar neighborhoods only
  • follow traffic signals and rules of the road
  • drive slowly
  • avoid taking shortcuts across backyards or alleys. Stick to the sidewalks of well lit streets
Candy safety:
  • instruct your children to bring all candy home before eating it so that you can carefully inspect it for tampering. Children shouldn't snack while they're out trick-or-treating, before parents have a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go -- don't send them out on an empty stomach.
  • Tell children not to accept -- and, especially, not to eat--anything that isn't commercially wrapped.
  • Throw out candy or treats that are homemade, unwrapped or if they appear to have been tampered with (pinholes in wrappers, torn wrappers, etc.)
  • Parents of young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
  • Wash all fresh fruit thoroughly, inspect it for holes, including small punctures, and cut it open before allowing children to eat it.

General safety tips

  • homeowners should prepare their home for trick-or-treaters by removing obstacles from the front yard, restraining dogs and other animals, and lighting the house well
  • provide treats that are individually wrapped candy or offer kids nonfood treats, such as stickers and erasers.
  • artificial lights and candles are a safer alternative to real candles with a flame that can pose a fire hazard
  • if going to an adult Halloween party, make sure that you don't drink and drive. Use a designated driver if alcohol is being consumed.
Halloween can be a fun time for kids.
But as parents, we are responsible for their:
Safety, Health and Happiness.
So let us review the above safety tips, so our children will not only stay safe, but will stay healthy and have a very enjoyable and Happy Halloween!!
Steven Horvitz, D.O.
Board Certified Family Medicine
Founder of The Institute for Medical Wellness

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