Taking the Boo! out of Halloween

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Super heroes, monsters, and princesses…oh my! Halloween is fast approaching and is often a favorite holiday for kids. You dress up and get lots of candy for free; what’s not to like! However, Halloween can present some safety concerns for parents. Make your Halloween safe and happy by following these safety tips.

Chemical Safety. There are a few chemical safety issues to be aware of during the spooky season, such as

• Test for skin irritation of face paint and make-up on your child’s arm 30 minutes or a few days before applying to his or her face
• Remove face paint/make-up before going to bed to avoid skin or eye irritation
• Check the label on your costume masks for any potential allergic reaction (such as latex allergies)
• Do not allow your children to break open glow sticks Chemicals inside glow sticks have low toxicity but can be irritating to eyes and skin upon contact, and mouth and throat if swallowed (click here for more information on glow stick safety)

Costume Safety. Everyone will be dressing up as their favorite character from movies, cartoons, books and more. Costumes come in every shape and size with every accessory you can think of, so keep these safety tips in mind when selecting your costume or wearing the one you have purchased.

• Select correct sized costumes (including shoes) to avoid trips and falls
• Make sure your child can see well if wearing a mask, wig or beard (eye holes are large enough, they don’t cover your child’s eyes, nose or mouth)
• Choose “flame-retardant” costumes or use polyester or nylon material if making your own (Click here on more information about flame retardants)
• Add a name tag with your phone number to your child’s costume in case they get lost
• Consider face paint or make-up as a safer alternative to wearing a mask (test for skin irritation on your child’s arm before applying to his or her face)
• Do not allow your child to wear decorative contact lenses without consulting an eye doctor (serious eye conditions such as bacterial infections, corneal ulcers, and even blindness could result from improper use)
• Choose a light colored costume or add reflective tape for better visibility at night
• Add a flashlight to the costume for additional safety and visibility
• Swords, knives, wands, etc. should be smooth, soft and flexible to avoid injuries

Trick-or-Treat Safety. While out roaming the streets and sidewalks for those delicious treats, remember these safety tips:

• Provide adult supervision during trick-or-treating for children under 12 years old
• Make sure older kids trick-or-treat in a group and you know the neighborhood and route they plan to take
• Use glow sticks to add visibility to your child. Chemicals inside glow sticks have low toxicity but can be irritating to eyes and skin upon contact, and mouth and throat if swallowed (click here for more information)
• Instruct your child to cross the streets at crosswalks and always look both ways before crossing
• Remind your child to obey all traffic signals and stay on the sidewalk when available
• If sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic as far from road as possible
• Always walk (not run) from house to house and only visit houses where the porch light is on
• Avoid dark alleys, fields, and other sparsely populated areas; stay in well lit areas
• Review “stranger danger” reminding your child not to enter the home of or get into a car with people you don’t know

The Goods – Candy & More. Our little ghouls and goblins come home after a night of trick-or-treating with a bag full of sweet treats and tiny trinkets but those goodies may not be the best thing for your child.

• Feed your child a good meal before trick-or-treating so they won’t be tempted to snack on their “goodies”
• Do not allow your child to eat their “goodies” without being checked by an adult first
• Throw out homemade treats (if you don’t know who made them) and items with wrappers that are damaged or appear to be tampered with to be safe
• Protect younger children from choking hazards by preventing them from having gum, hard candy, small toys, etc. (Click here for more information on toy safety)

If you child comes home with a large bag of candy, check with your local dentists to see if they have a “candy buy back” program. These programs usually pay money for your child’s candy to help reduce dental issues.

Kids + Chemical Safety wish you a safe and have a Happy Halloween!

www.KidsChemicalSafety.org

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