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Halloween Guide - How to Keep Your Children Safe


13 Halloween Safety Tips for Little Ghosts and Goblins

Halloween is a scary time of year, but we all can make sure that children have a safe holiday with the following tips.

"All Dressed Up..."

  • Because they can obstruct a child's vision, masks are not recommended. If a child wears makeup, parents should look for non-toxic, hypoallergenic kits.
  • Costumes should be flame-retardant and fit properly. Avoid oversized shoes, high heels and long skirts or pants that could cause a child to fall.
  • Children who will be trick-or-treating after dusk should have reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights.

"Carving a Niche..."
  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, then parents can do the cutting. Under parents' supervision, children ages 5 to 10 can carve with pumpkin cutters equipped with safety bars.
  • Votive candles are safest for candlelit pumpkins.
  • Lighted pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects and should never be left unattended.

"Sweet Treats..."
  • Children shouldn't snack while they're trick-or-treating. Parents should check treats at home.
  • Watch for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.
  • Parents of young children should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.

"Home Safe Home..."
  • To keep their home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
  • Remember that Halloween is for children of all ages... so get involved with your little ghost or goblin!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


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Copyright 2002 American Academy of Pediatrics. Reprinted with permission.



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