Keep your kids safe and healthy this Halloween — without sacrificing any fun!
For kids, Halloween is a source of boundless excitement. They get to dress up in flashy, glamorous, or scary costumes, stay up past their bedtimes, and collect all the free candy they can fit in their bags. For parents, Halloween is a very different story: their children are out after dark, talking to strangers, and eating way more sugar than they should.
Fortunately, it’s possible to keep your kids safe and healthy without spoiling the fun of Halloween, and we’ve compiled a Halloween health and safety checklist to help you do just that. By following these simple steps, you can keep your children safe and your mind at ease come October 31.
1. Choosing a Winning Costume
No matter what costume your child has their eye on, you can ensure it’s safe by making a few simple and easy tweaks. Firstly, you never want to lose sight of your child on a dark night, which is why it’s a good idea to choose a costume that’s bright and reflective. If your child’s costume doesn’t light up the night on its own, add some reflective tape or have your child wear a glow stick bracelet or necklace.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about the materials of which your child’s costume is made. Make sure no part of their costume is flammable, irritating, or sharp. If their costume isn’t complete without a sword or wand, opt for one that’s made of soft, flexible materials.
Finally, if your child’s costume includes any sort of face paint or makeup, spot test the substance on a small patch of skin a few days before Halloween. It’s unwise to apply an untested substance to your child’s entire face or body without first ensuring that it won’t cause a rash or other adverse reaction.
2. Keeping Safe While Trick-or-Treating
When the night of Halloween finally arrives and your child is making the trick-or-treat rounds, you should ensure they’re never out and about without the supervision of a parent or other trusted adult. Even if your child is just trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, it’s not a good idea to send them out alone — a neighborhood that’s safe and peaceful during the day can become crowded with strangers on the evening of October 31.
Even if you don’t plan to let your child out of your sight, remind them of important safety tips before you start your trek: namely, to never enter a stranger’s house or car, to stick with their group, to remain on the sidewalk or far edge of the road, and to never approach a home with the porch light off. Make sure they know your phone number and know to call 911 in the case of an emergency.
3. Avoiding Sugar Overload After Halloween
Once your child is home safe and their costume is packed away for next year, the real challenge begins: preventing sugar overload. While a bit more sugar than usual on Halloween isn’t a big deal, you should aim to foster moderation by having your child pick a few favorites to enjoy on Halloween, and then put the rest away for later.
But is sugar the only thing in your child’s bag of candy about which to be concerned? While urban legends about poisoned or razor blade-stuffed “treats” abound, instances of this occurring are incredibly rare. That said, give your child’s candy a quick once-over before they dig in, and toss anything that looks homemade or like it may have been tampered with.
A Partner in Your Child’s Health
Do you have questions about Halloween safety, or about your child’s health and safety in general? Make an appointment to speak with one of the experienced pediatricians at Kids’ Health. Our practice takes a holistic approach to your child’s health — that means that no question is too big or too small for our doctors.