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Halloween Hidden Dangers

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:17 AM EST
Category: None
Tags: None

This is not the night you want to end up in the emergency room but it can happen because Halloween is an unusual night and kids might just test the limits. And it’s dark and either scary or exciting, depending on your age or perspective. Adults sometimes forget how exciting Halloween can be for most kids. 

Whatever their age you can help them stay safe. 

Big dangers this night are from falling, cars and fires from Jack-O-Lanterns. 

  • Tripping and falling in the dark of Halloween night sends most children to the emergency room. Costumes that fit correctly don’t have billowing skirts or sleeves and shoes that can be walked in comfortably are the best choice.
  • Obviously make sure the costume or props such a sword doesn’t have sharp ends that might stick your child or another
  • Masks should fit correctly and never obscure eyes. A better choice is to use  natural cosmetics rather than have the child wear a mask they have difficulty keeping on
  • Flashlights for adults are too large for child hands and the pumpkin and black cat light illuminate poorly. Make sure a flash light has fresh batteries and is small enough for a child’s hand
  • Reflective tape and light clothes make your little one visible. Purchase it in sporting good, hardware and bicycles stores. 
  • And don’t forget that old clothing and a little imagination makes the best costumes –paint tights with a yellow stripe to make a bee; felt ears for a dog can be cut out of an old sweatshirt; mom’s old clothes from 20 years ago can make you a hippie
  • Forget jewelry and beads, hats and scarves that they are likely to trip on.  And instead of a rigid plastic pumpkin head bring an old pillow case to hold candy
  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the most serious Halloween-related injuries come from burns from open flames, candles and Jack O’Lanterns.  Nylon and polyester are less flammable as are “flame retardant” costumes. Instead of candles near your front porch, you might opt for electric lights or keep the candles far away or inside the pumpkin with its top on.

 
For Parents

  • Feed your children a substantive dinner before they go out, they’ll be less likely to load up on candy
  • It is a good for the talk about staying out of strangers cars and going into houses with people they don’t know
  • Know the route your children are traveling, during the daylight hours. If it is after dark, they should stay in a well-lighted area and have an adult accompany them. Older children should not leave a neighborhood and should have a cell phone or arranged time to go. You can hire a teenage babysitter to accompany younger teens.  They should definitely wear a watch and know how to use it!  If there are no sidewalks, walk on the side facing traffic.  A function might be a good alternative to take children to in a supervised setting you can attend
  • Make sure children know the difference between a treat or a trick. A trick does not mean vandalism and it is not a night to harm animals that might be outside. It is an excellent time to keep pets indoors
  • Remember that chocolate can kill a small dog. Check with an emergency after hour vet and write down the amount of hydrogen peroxide you’d give your pet based on his weight to induce vomiting.  Costumes for dogs can lead to additional stress along with the many strangers, sights and sounds.  It’s better to put them in a safe environment
  • Inspect any candy before your child eats it looking for any broken packages. Small hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for small children
  • And candy doesn’t have to be the only treat offered. Packages of low far crackers, cheese or peanut butter filling, fruit rollups, boxes of raising, packets of microwave popcorn all work as “treats,”  and there are non food treats such as pencils, school supplies, erasers, coins, stickers 


Teenagers

  •  Teenagers should keep their eyes out for the younger children in case they need help or are not behaving safety. Smaller kids can be hurt by running into larger kids or into the street. This is one of the nights of the year where all age groups mix together
  • Knowing exactly where your teenager is and who they are with is imperative. Tell them it’s not about trusting them, it’s about safety and knowing where to find them in an emergency.  Make sure they have a watch and are wearing it! Set a deadline as Thursday is a school day in most districts.

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