Get Ready for Halloween

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Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids, and to help them have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Feel free to excerpt these tips or use them in their entirety for any print or broadcast story, with acknowledgment of source. 

ALL DRESSED UP:

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly so they don't slide over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.

  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.

  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.

  • Do not use decorative contact lenses. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as "one size fits all," or "no need to see an eye specialist," using decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.

  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

CARVING A NICHE:

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.

  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

HOME SAFE HOME:

  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard 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 or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.

  • Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater or run away.

Source credit: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx