How to keep your kids safe this Halloween

By: Karen Alfonso, M.D., pediatrician, MemorialCare Medical Group Torrance

Halloween is a holiday associated with candy, costumes, and children going door-to-door trick-or-treating and most importantly for kids – it’s filled with fun. However, in the excitement of getting back to these fun Halloween traditions, there are important safety tips you can prepare for, or remind your child of, to ensure your Halloween is filled with more treats than tricks.

To keep your children safe this Halloween, be sure to:

  • Keep an eye on your child. This may sound simple, but a large majority of accidents happen quickly, and in the excitement of Halloween it’s easy for small children to stop paying attention to their surroundings. This opens them up to tripping and getting hurt and/or getting struck by car or scooter.
  • While the thrill of Halloween is often surrounded by dark clothes and masks, encourage your children to wear something bright or have a source of light. For example, children could carry glow sticks or flashlights without losing their costume’s appeal or put reflective tape on their costume for added visibility.
  • You’ve taught your children to look both ways crossing the street, but remind them that on Halloween, it is especially important that they pay attention. Remind them not to cross the street unless the driver makes eye contact with them, or else they probably aren’t seen.
  • Look at your child’s candy before consumption. Make sure that they don’t eat a candy that may have something they are allergic to. I would also encourage throwing away any candy where the wrapper looks opened or tampered with.
  • Make sure children are washing their hands regularly when encountering various commonly touched surfaces, like doors or candy bowls. It is RSV and flu season, and I would hate to have your little ghouls catch an unwanted “bug”.
  • Assist your children when carving pumpkins to make sure your children don’t accidentally cut themselves while carving. Use electronic or battery-operated candles to fill the pumpkin rather than candles that are flammable that could cause a house fire or worse.

Halloween is one of the most popular holidays for children and their parents to enjoy – as long as everyone is aware and thoughtful about the environment around them. Just be mindful of your surroundings and encourage children who trick or treat alone to pay attention to ensure your Halloween plans don’t involve an unwanted trip to the emergency room.

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