Avoid a Dreadful Halloween: Safety Tips (and Tricks) to Keep Your Little Bruce Banner from Becoming the Hulk on Halloween Night
Houston (October 25, 2017) – Halloween is known to children far and wide as “the night without rules” and “the eve of all things sugar.” For the poor and unfortunate souls who have to manage the chaos that is Halloween night (with children), you’ll be happy to know that the festivities this year take place on a Tuesday – smack in the middle of a school week. How, you ask, can we make this evening (and the morning after) a little less like “Dawn of the Living Dead?”
Kelsey-Seybold board-certified pediatrician Helene Sheena, M.D., F.A.AP., has a few suggestions:
Adorning Your Little Ghouls.
- Choose a light-colored costume or add glow-in-the-dark tape to the front and back of the costume so your kids can be easily seen.
- Be sure that the costume is labelled “flame-retardant.”
- Make sure wigs and beards don't cover your kids' eyes, noses or mouths.
- Don't let your children wear masks — they can make it difficult for kids to see and breathe. Instead, use nontoxic face paint or makeup.
- Place a name tag – with your phone number — on your child's costume in case you become separated.
- Make sure any props your kids carry, such as wands or swords, are flexible.
Make Trick-or-Treating Trouble Free.
- Accompany young children (under age 10) on their rounds. But make sure they know their home phone number, the cell phone numbers of parents and any other trusted adult who's supervising and how to call 911 in case they get lost.
- For older kids trick-or-treating on their own, make sure you approve of the route they'll be taking and know when they'll be coming home. Also be sure they:
- carry a cell phone
- go in a group and stay together
- only go to houses with porch lights on and walk on sidewalks on well-lit streets (never walk through alleys or across lawns)
- know to never go into strangers' homes or accept a ride from one
- cross the street at crosswalks and never assume that vehicles will stop
- Give each child a flashlight with new batteries.
- Limit trick-or-treating to your neighborhood and homes of people you and your children know.
- When your kids get home, check all treats to make sure they're safely sealed with no signs of tampering.
- Throw out loose candy, spoiled items and any homemade treats not made by someone you know.
- Don't allow young children to have hard candy or gum that could cause choking.
Put a Dent on that Sugar High
Offer a filling meal that your kids enjoy eating before they head out to trick-or-treat – it leaves less room in their belly for a bag of candy.
- Consider purchasing Halloween treats other than candy. Stickers, erasers, crayons, pencils and coloring books can keep them entertained and not only focused on sugary treats.
- Refer to yourself as the “Candy Police” – collect their spoils and offer them treats from your own stash of candies. Inspections are “necessary” before consumption – and if they are really little, maybe they won’t remember you took their candy away the next day. Hide it – and not in any of the obvious places.
- Once your trick-or-treaters have returned with their Halloween goodies, extend their bounty by letting them have a treat or two a day instead of leaving candy out in big bags or bowls for kids to sample at will.