Oct. 30, 2010 Monsters, goblins and super-heroes will soon be descending on homes everywhere and while Halloween is a time for fun and treats, certain dangers abound.
The key to keeping kids safe this year, and every year, is close parental supervision and a few trick-or-treat precautions.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center offers these tips to make this year's holiday a safe one.
- Avoid potential burn injuries: Look for flame-resistant materials for costumes and be particularly aware of open flames in Jack O' Lanterns
- Choose costumes that do not have sharp objects attached to masks or the body of a costume
- Beware of costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
- Make sure masks allow for full vision
- If your child wears a hat or scarf, make sure it fits securely and provide adequate ventilation
- Apply non-toxic face paint or cosmetics as an alternative to masks
- Make sure children wear properly fitting shoes
- Plan costumes of highly visible colors
The most important thing to remember is to make children visible to automobile drivers. A child is four times more likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other time.
Dress children in highly visible colors
Adhere reflective tape or stickers to costumes or treat bags or have the child wear a reflective bracelet.
Give kids flashlights to carry
Accompany children under age 10
Allow children to travel only in familiar areas
Remind children to follow rules of crossing streets -- look both ways and cross only at intersections and crosswalks
Attach each child's name, address and phone number to their clothes in case they become separated from adults
Feed kids a good meal before trick-or-treating so they don't get cranky or hungry half-way through
Do not allow children to eat any treats until they've been sorted and checked by an adult at home
Throw candy away if it appears to have been unwrapped and re-wrapped, or appears suspicious in any way
Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use
Children's Fears Halloween can sometimes be a frightening holiday for children. To help ease the fright of "monsters" and unfamiliar sights, child psychologists at Cincinnati Children's say parents should help their children interpret Halloween as a make-believe situation. Show children that someone is just wearing a mask by asking that person to remove it. Parents should also have small children try on their costumes before Halloween. This exercise will give them time to get used to how they look.
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