Halloween Safety Tips For Families

Precautions You Should Take to Keep Your Children Safe

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monsters, goblins and super-heroes will soon be descending on homes everywhere and while Halloween is a time for fun and treats, certain dangers abound.

The key to keeping kids safe this year, and every year, is close parental supervision and a few trick-or-treat precautions.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center offers these tips to make this year's holiday a safe one.

Costumes

  • Avoid potential burn injuries: Look for flame-resistant materials for costumes and be particularly aware of open flames in Jack O’ Lanterns
  • Choose costumes that do not have sharp objects attached to masks or the body of a costume 
  • Beware of costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big baggy sleeves or billowing skirts, all can pose an entanglement hazard 
  • Make sure masks allow for full vision 
  • If your child wears a hat or scarf, make sure they fit securely and provide adequate ventilation 
  • Apply non-toxic face paint or cosmetics directly to the face as an alternative to masks 
  • Make sure children wear properly fitting shoes to avoid tripping 
  • Plan costumes of highly visible colors

Trick-or-treating

  • The most important thing to remember is to make children visible to automobile drivers. A child is four times more likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other time.
  • Dress children in highly visible colors
  • Adhere reflective tape or stickers to costumes or treat bags
  • Give kids flashlights to carry 
  • Accompany children under age 10 
  • Allow children to travel only in familiar areas 
  • Remind children to follow rules of crossing streets – look both ways and cross only at intersections and crosswalks 
  • Attach each child’s name, address and phone number to their clothes in case they become separated from adults

Candy 

  • Feed kids a good meal before trick-or-treating so they don’t get cranky half-way through 
  • Do not allow children to eat any treats until they’ve been sorted and checked by an adult at home 
  • Throw candy away if it appears to have been unwrapped and re-wrapped, or appears suspicious in any way 
  • Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use.

Children's Fears

Halloween can sometimes be a frightening holiday for children. To help ease the fright of "monsters" and unfamiliar sights, child psychologists at Cincinnati Children's say parents should help their children interpret Halloween as a make-believe situation. Show children that someone is just wearing a mask by asking that person to remove it. Parents should also have small children to try on their costumes before Halloween. This exercise will give them time to get used to how they look.

About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is one of America’s top three children’s hospitals for general pediatrics and is highly ranked for its expertise in digestive diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer, neonatal care, heart care and neurosurgery, according to the annual ranking of best children's hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. One of the three largest children’s hospitals in the U.S., Cincinnati Children’s is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

For its achievements in transforming healthcare, Cincinnati Children's is one of six U.S. hospitals since 2002 to be awarded the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize ® for leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care. The hospital is a national and international referral center for complex cases, so that children with the most difficult-to-treat diseases and conditions receive the most advanced care leading to better outcomes. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org.

Contact Information

Danielle Lewis, 513-636-9473, danielle.lewis1@cchmc.org