Frightening fact: Halloween night sees two to four times as many child pedestrian deaths than any other night of the year. We want to make sure your little ghosts and goblins are safe and informed and encourage you to speak with them about Halloween safety. This blog post will cover some talking points for you and your children to discuss, and also some things parents can do to make sure the kids in their community have an injury free night. Most of the tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and a couple were thought of by Dr. Christina.
-Make sure that your child’s costume isn’t longer than their ankles, or where their pants would normally hit. Doing this will help avoid trips and falls and will decrease the chance of a jack-o-lantern candle igniting the fabric of their costume. Check to make sure your costumes use flame resistant fabric. Have a talk about being cautious of people’s yards, walkways, and porches.
-Opt for face makeup instead of a mask that can make it difficult to see. Be sure to test the face makeup a few days before Halloween to make sure that skin doesn’t react badly.
-Make sure that your yard is free of sticks, hoses, toys, cords, and other tripping hazards. Check that all of your lightbulbs are working and that your pets are in a secure place.
- Establish a meeting place in case anyone gets lost or separated.
-Put a post it note or business card in your child’s Trick-Or-Treat bag just in case they are separated and need to call you. Also include the Austin Police Department non-emergency number- 311.
-Consider drawing or painting on pumpkins instead of carving with a knife. Use a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle in pumpkins to reduce the risk of fire and burns.
-Put a flashlight in your child’s trick-or-treat bucket for dark areas of your neighborhood.
-If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat alone (Safe Kids, a non-profit dedicated to preventing protecting kids from unintentional injuries says that children under 12 should not trick-or-treat alone) plan a route with them and review it a few times before they leave. Set a curfew. Stress the importance of staying in a group on well-lit streets and sidewalks.
-Make sure everyone eats a good meal beforehand! Try one of the delicious and healthy Halloween meals we’ve shared on social media this month.
- Have fun and BRUSH YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU GET HOME!