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Be Safe While Trick-or-Treating

It’s that time of year again when all the ghosts, goblins and princesses will hit the pavement to collect their candy.  But did you know that trick-or-treating poses some pretty basic dangers that can easily be avoided?  Unfortunately, parents are sometimes unaware of the dangers their little ghouls face as they venture out tonight.

  1. Car accidents–it’s hard for little ones not to get excited and dart across the street to get to the next house.  It’s also sometimes difficult for kids to see through their Halloween costume masks clearly.  Unfortunately, Halloween is a time when adults also like to “have fun” which sometimes means partaking in a little too much to drink and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.  In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 60% of Halloween fatalities involve an impaired driver.  Trick-or-treaters can stay safe by remaining on sidewalks, making sure they can see through their Halloween masks, placing reflective tape on costumes, and carrying a flashlight.  Also, adults should make sure to have a designated driver in place if they plan to party hard.
  2. Eye stabbings and wounds–think that plastic sword is cool?  It won’t be so cool when you get poked in the eye.  Doctors say they see plenty of accidental wounds to the eye from children playing around with sharp Halloween costume props.  Parents can avoid this problem by only buying flexible Halloween swords or other potentially sharp items.
  3. Fires–there will plenty of Jack-o-Lanterns on display tonight, that’s for sure.  Consider placing battery-operated candles inside of pumpkins rather than the real deal.  Unfortunately, many Halloween costumes are flammable, so parents can also make sure that they read costume labels carefully and only buy those that are flame retardant.
  4. Allergic reactions/infections–Halloween makeup is pretty cheap, and there’s sometimes a reasons.  Test body paint or makeup on a small section of skin before applying it to large sections of the body.  You never know how your child’s skin will react to a product and you don’t want to have to deal with a major allergic reaction or skin infection.  Also, although costume contact lenses are popular, they’re also very dangerous.  The Food and Drug Administration has attempted to stop costume shops from selling costume contact lenses, but to no avail–so you’ll have to make the wise choice on your own.  You should never stick a contact lens in your eye without getting fitted by an eye doctor.
  5. Cuts and bruises–clearly, it’s easier to get injured if your child is running excitedly from home to home…while carrying a pillow case full of candy…while wearing a face mask…while eating said candy…you get the point.  According to the National Safety Council, falls are the leading cause of injury on Halloween.  Children should wear costumes that have eye holes big enough to see through, avoid wacky foot wear (e.g. high heels or slippers), and loose costumes that will make tripping easier.
  6. Stomach aches–It’s also easy for your child to get a sick stomach rather quickly while wolfing down large amounts of candy.  Send trick-or-treaters out with a full stomach and encourage them to wait until coming home to eat candy.  Also, if you’re passing out candy, avoid having each trick-or-treater dig in themselves; you do it instead so that they’ll be fewer germs in the bucket.  Adults are also susceptible to nausea or vomiting from over-consumption of alcohol–make sure to eat a snack and take it easy with the drinks.

For some good Halloween fun, here’s a clip of everyone’s favorite Tim Burton classic:

Happy Halloween!  Stay safe and have fun!

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