Halloween may be one of your child’s favorite holidays. If you celebrate Halloween, it’s up to you to make it special, fun and memorable, but part of that means keeping your child safe. Here are some tips we suggest you follow this Halloween.
Test makeup/effects. Some children react to costume makeup. The day before, test putting on the makeup in a small area, keep it on for a little while, and then wash it off. See if it creates any rashes, itchiness, or dryness. If it does you should not use the makeup, and you can use hydrocortisone cream 1% to help clear any rashes.
Check costume safety. Have your child walk around in the costume and make sure there’s nothing they can trip on, that they can see out of the costume just fine, and that the costume doesn’t constrict movement.
Make sure you can see the costume. If the costume is all black, or very dark, consider getting reflector tape to put on the back or front of the costume for night-time visibility.
Supervision. If your child is under 12, they should be supervised at all times. If they are older, use your own judgment to decide if they can trick-or-treat alone. If that is the case, you should set limitations on where they can go to, and a curfew.
Meet up spot. Just in case, you should set up a meeting spot if your child or a child you’re supervising gets split up. Ideally, they will also have a means of communication with them like a cell phone.
Flashlights/Glowsticks. You may want to bring flashlights for your children to carry to help with visibility. An alternative to flashlights are glow sticks. This may be a little more fun for your kids, and less dangerous since they can’t shine them by accident at cars or other children.
Decoration hazards. Watch out for flame-lit decorations such as jack-o-lanterns or luminaries, especially if the costume has dangling fabric. You also want to just be aware of any decorations that can get caught on the costume or costume accessories, which can be a safety hazard.
Wrapped candy. Only allow your child to eat factory-wrapped candy. You should avoid homemade treats, or anything that looks potentially opened.
Allergies. If your child has food allergies, check the ingredient list on all candies very carefully.
Choking hazards. Depending on your child’s age, you should see if any candies may be a choking hazard.
Candy consumption. Manage how much candy your child eats after Halloween to avoid illness and unhealthy habits and cavities.
Teenagers on Halloween
If you have an older adolescent child you’re concerned about this Halloween, there are tips for them too. While you want to give your child a sense of independence and responsibility, you definitely need to set some boundaries.
- Have a conversation with them regarding alcohol and drug abuse and how to avoid any use
- Set a curfew and stick to it
- Know where they plan on going and who they will be with. If it’s another friend’s house, make sure you communicate with that parent
- Make sure they have their phone on them at all times
- Possibly give them an alternative for Halloween, such as going to a “haunted house”, or having a movie marathon
- If you’re able, suggest hosting a Halloween party at your house with their friends
If you have questions about any safety tips or recommendations for your children, please let us know here at Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania. But most importantly, make this Halloween a great day for your child!