Child Safety - Miller & Zois

Halloween Safety for Kids

HalloweenHalloween is a fun time of the year for you and your children. However, you must take precautions to ensure your child's safety while trick-or-treating. You must also purchase safe and appropriate materials for your child's costume. Make sure to use caution while you and your child are carving pumpkins. In addition, be mindful of trick-or-treaters while driving. Create a safe environment for trick-or-treaters visiting your home as well.

Safe Trick-or-Treating

Trick-or-treating can be a fun activity; however, it can also be unsafe. Since trick-or-treating takes place at night, your child risks not being seen by motorists. Have your child wear reflective tape or vests. While it may look silly to them, they will be visible to motorists. Wearing costumes with bright colors will also help your child appear more visible.

While trick-or-treating, your child should visit well-lit and familiar areas such as the homes of neighbors you personally know. Plan a route around the neighborhood for them, so you know which houses they will visit. Have them carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. Discourage your child from accepting rides from strangers, even if it is a long walk back to your house. Have them call you up, and then pick them up from their location instead.

Depending on your child's age, they should not go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. If your child is under twelve years old, you or a trusted adult must supervise them. You and your child should also trick-or-treat in groups as well. The larger the group, the safer your child and everyone else's will be.

Once they reach twelve years of age, you can permit them to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. However, advise them to use caution and common sense while they are out. Before they leave, review safety rules with them such as never trick-or-treating alone and only approaching clearly lit homes. Give them a set time they must be home.

Costumes

Wearing costumes is a fun activity, but it can sometimes be unsafe. Buy costumes that will not injure your child or others. Before doing so, you must know how to make your child's costume safe for them to wear.

While masks may look aesthetically pleasing, they can obstruct your child's view. Masks that cover your child's entire head can also make breathing difficult. In addition, a poorly fitting mask can irritate sensitive skin and cause acne.

Instead of wearing a mask, have your child wear face paint. Not all face paint is non-toxic, so be sure to read the contents prior to buying them. Make sure your child is also not allergic to any of its ingredients. When applying face paint, do not apply near your child's eyes. Like soap, face paint can irritate the eyes. However, if your child has to wear a mask, make sure it fits comfortably, has large eye holes, and has proper ventilation. If the eyeholes are not big enough, cut them and use matching grease paint to fill in gaps.

Make sure that your child's costume fits perfectly. Do not get a costume that is too long for your child because they might trip. High-heeled shoes can cause your child to trip as well. Your child should wear well-fitting shoes that provide arch support. This will allow them to walk comfortably while trick-or-treating for a couple of hours. Make sure to find wigs or beards that do not cover your child's eyes, noses, or mouths. This can affect your child's ability to see or breathe while trick-or-treating.

While props like swords, knives, and fake weapons enhance your child's costume, they can injure someone if sharp enough. If your child will be using props with their costume, make sure that they are using ones made from safe material such as plastic. These props should be soft and flexible, so as to prevent someone from getting seriously hurt.

Buy flame-retardant costumes, which helps prevent your child from catching fire. Before purchasing a costume, check the label to see if the costume is flame-retardant. If you are making your child's costume for them, use nylon or polyester, both of which are non-flammable materials.

After Trick-or-Treating

After trick-or-treating, review your child's treats before they eat them. Discard unsealed and questionable candy. If you have younger children, discard gum, hard candies, and other potential choking hazards. If you have a child with nut, peanut, milk, or chocolate allergies, be sure to read the ingredients list on each wrapper. Review every single treat found in your child's basket, to ensure what they will be eating is safe.

You should also ration out your child's treats. Discourage them from consuming too much candy, as this encourages unhealthy eating habits. Eating too much sugar is not healthy, and can lead to cavities in your child's teeth. Long-term excessive consumption of sugary products can also lead to serious health issues such as diabetes. Encourage your child to lead a healthy lifestyle by moderating their sugar intake. You can also have your child eat an early meal prior to trick-or-treating, which will make them less likely to eat an excessive amount of candy.

Halloween Driving

Trick-or-treating usually occurs between the hours of 6:00 and 9:00 PM, so be sure to pay significant attention to the road while driving during these hours. Do not use your cell phone or changing the radio station while driving. Drive below the speed limit in residential neighborhoods because it makes it easier to anticipate trick-or-treaters.

While you must always yield to pedestrians, you should especially pay attention during Halloween. Pedestrian injuries to children is a very common injury on this day. Keep an eye out trick-or-treaters walking on the street or sidewalk. Some trick-or-treaters will also use their bike to travel around the neighborhood, so be sure to look out for them as well. Many excited trick-or-treaters may not be paying significant attention to their surroundings, except for which houses have candy.

Carving Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins can be a fun activity for the whole family. However, since you and your children will be using knives to carve pumpkins, there is potential that you and your child could get injured. Before carving, wash your hands and carving tools. Make sure that you dry them off because any moisture on your hands or tools can cause a slip that could injure you or your child.

Do not have younger children carve pumpkins. Instead, have them trace their design with a marker, then proceed to carve the pumpkin yourself. Even if your child is old enough to carve, never leave them unsupervised. They could still get hurt, and you must be there in case of an emergency.

When carving pumpkins, sharper knives do not mean better knives because they can get lodged in the thick part of the pumpkin. This can be an issue because this can make it difficult to remove without getting injured. An injury can also occur due to the knife slipping during the carving process. You should use a pumpkin carving kit, because it comes with a short serrated pumpkin knife that is less likely to get stuck deep within the pumpkin.

Try not to use candles for jack o 'lanterns because it could be a potential fire hazard. Use a flashlight, glow stick, or an LED tea light instead. If you end up using candles, make sure to keep lighters or matches out of reach of your children. You must also use caution when placing a candlelit pumpkin outside. Always place them on a table, and never on the ground or front porch. One could accidentally trip on a jack o 'lantern on the floor, which can injure them or even cause a potential fire. A trick-or-treater could also catch fire by tripping on a jack o 'lantern. Make sure to remove leaves or other flammable material nearby as well.

Treat-Seeker Preparation

You must also make your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters. Remove items on your front porch that children may trip on such as toys, lawn equipment, bikes, and garden hoses. Make sure to sweep leaves off your sidewalk as well, to make sure that no children end up slipping on them. Restrain your pets, as they can scare some children. Make sure that your home is well-lit so that trick-or-treaters know to visit.