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October 30, 2015

Costumes and Carving — Keep It Safe This Halloween

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many children, but it’s one that can make Mom and Dad a little nervous. Today’s blog offers up some tips for parents on how to handle the costumes that might impair vision, the sharp pumpkin carving knives, and the worry about having the kids out in the dark.

Masters of Disguise

When it comes to costumes, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following suggestions on their website:

  • 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 to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • 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 too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as "one size fits all," or "no need to see an eye specialist," obtaining 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.

Pumpkin Art

  • 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 should never be left unattended.

Pumpkin Art Safety

The Big Event

Over at Safe Kids Worldwide, you’ll find some excellent advice on how kids, parents, and drivers can all stay safe during the prime trick-or-treating evening hours:

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. 
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. (Distracted walking — yes, this really is a thing. See our blog here.)
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to
 the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Review with children how to call 9-1-1 if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

And drivers, please be extra vigilant! Take it super slow and leave the texting for when you are out of the car and enjoying some candy with the kids back at the house. That is, if they’ll share it with you….

Have a great Halloween everyone!

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