How Families Can Avoid Dangers this Halloween
Children's Health, Seasonal Tips
With Halloween right around the corner, it’s important that your family has a plan to stay safe while trick-or-treating. Injuries can put a damper on howling good Halloween fun. Family Medicine Physician Pavandip Virdi, MD, offers seven safety tips your family can use to help you enjoy a safe Halloween. Dr. Virdi cares for families at Bayhealth Family Medicine, Dover.
- Choose the right costume. Trick-or-treating just wouldn’t be the same without costumes, but it’s important that those costumes are fitted, that comfortable shoes are worn, and you avoid things like flammable costumes, makeup that may cause an allergic reaction, face masks that are too large, and decorative contact lenses. For unvaccinated families, be sure to maintain social distancing and wear a face covering for protection.
- Walk this way. When trick-or-treating in neighborhoods, always be sure to follow traffic signs. It’s best to remain on the sidewalk for maximum safety; however, if there isn’t a sidewalk, it’s safest to walk facing oncoming traffic. If you need to cross a street, be sure to cross at a sidewalk and look both ways for oncoming traffic – then look again! Be sure to walk and not run along the sidewalk or when crossing the street. If trick-or-treating at night, wearing some sort of reflective material or using glow sticks will make it easier for drivers to spot you.
- Walk your child all the way to the door. Don’t let your young child walk up to an adult or a person’s home without being right by their side. You’ll get the added benefit of walking those extra steps and your child will feel safe. If your teen is trick-or-treating with friends and won’t have adult supervision, remind them to never enter a stranger’s home. They should also carry a cell phone in case of an emergency. Avoid homes that don’t have their porch light turned on.
- Drive safely. If you’re heading to a trunk-or-treat event or are just heading to a neighborhood to go trick-or-treating, drive safely. That means slowing down, being alert, and constantly being on the lookout for pedestrians. Young children get excited about Halloween and may run into the street.
- Eat well. Before heading out the door, have a healthy meal together. This will help you and your child avoid overindulging in Halloween candy. For the days and weeks following Halloween, try to ration candy intake in a positive, consistent way to help everyone enjoy the candy in moderation.
- Time for candy. Always inspect the wrapper before biting into your treat. Watch children as they eat candy, especially little ones who are more prone to choke. Avoid allergic reactions by reading all ingredient labels. If you have a child who has food allergies, ask friends to swap candy or keep alternatives available at home so the child doesn’t feel left out.
- Wash your hands. As we have all learned this last year, it is vital to our health that we wash our hands frequently. Halloween is no exception, especially with grabbing candy that others may have touched. Using hand sanitizer regularly while out trick-or-treating is a wonderful practice and washing your hands as soon as you get home will help remove any unwanted germs before digging into all that delicious candy.