"Pick Halloween costumes that are flame retardant so the child will be safe from candlelit-pumpkins on porches and make sure that they can walk freely and won't trip," Bradshaw said. "A good rule -of-thumb is for the costume not to go past the ankles. Props like swords and knives should be made of flexible material so nobody gets hurt."
It's also important that children can see well out of masks so that they won't trip on things and can see cars coming when they're crossing the street. If the eye holes are too small, parents need to cut bigger ones. By applying reflective tape to the costumes and candy bags, parents will make it easy for motorists to see their children in the dark as well.
"Before children go out, review your Halloween safety rules with them, such as which neighborhoods they should or shouldn't go to. Remind them not to enter any homes or apartment complexes and to not approach homes that don't have their porch light on," Bradshaw said.
He recommends that children under the age of 12 be accompanied by an adult and that older children be given a cell phone to take with them and a curfew.
"Give your kids a meal before they go trick-or-treating to keep them from eating candy before they get home," Bradshaw recommended. "Remind them that it's not safe to eat the candy before they get home and you have a chance to inspect it and wash the fruit."
Parents who don't want their children to eat all of their candy in one day can put some of it in a plastic bag in the freezer where it will stay fresh for a later date.
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