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Make trick-or-treating a safe, fun time for children

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansan...

Halloween trick or treat

Aside from the free candy, deciding on a costume is the most exciting part of Halloween for many kids. And when it comes to keeping trick-or-treaters safe, don't overlook the fact that, if not taken seriously, costumes can cause injuries too.

Halloween girl with flashlightSafe Halloween costumes for trick or treat

"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.

Review of Halloween safety rules

"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.

Candy safe

"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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