From the treats to the costumes, Halloween is a fun and exciting time of year for kids and parents too. To help ensure they have a safe holiday, we have compiled a list of Halloween safety tips and healthy alternatives to consider. Read on to learn more about Halloween safety and health tips.
Before it’s time to decorate your jack-o-lantern consider these safety rules:
- Consider alternatives to carving- Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint.
- Leave carving to adults- cut away from yourself and cut in small, controlled strokes.
- Pumpkin carving kits- special kits are available in stores and include small, serrated pumpkin saws that work better and are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin tissue.
- Use candles with care- Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow stick instead.
Should you cut your finger or hand, bleeding from minor cuts will often stop on its own by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth. If continuous pressure does not slow or stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, an emergency room visit may be required.
Download the pumpkin carving safety infographic from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
Before Halloween arrives, be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause safety hazards. Here are some tips to consider:
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
- Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- All costumes, wigs, and accessories should clearly be labeled flame resistant.
- Masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup (test on the skin prior) and decorative hats (form-fitting) as safer alternatives.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
Halloween Treats without the Sweets
For a new and healthy tradition this year, consider giving children the gift of treats without the sweets for Halloween. Aside from the increasing obesity rate, cavities, and the stress of checking through all of the candy for anything harmful, there are other things to consider, such as:
- Food Allergies– Food allergies are on the rise and many popular types of candy contain peanuts and other allergens. Some kids aren’t even allowed to go trick or treating because of potential peanut exposure. (To learn more: The Teal Pumpkin Project.)
- Too Much Sugar– Kids get candy at plenty of places such as the bank, the doctor, school, and almost everywhere they go. This keeps it a “sweet treat”. Receiving bags of it in one evening really isn’t a treat at all and can spike their blood sugar levels to scary heights.
- Dye Sensitivities – Many kids are sensitive to food dyes and it is tough to avoid them in most types of candy.
- Orthodontics Issues – Candy and sugary snacks aren’t good for teeth and can stick to braces and other mouthpieces.
So even if you risk the occasional eye-roll or two from trick-or-treaters, non-candy alternatives help keep the evening fun for even those with food allergies. Other families who are trying to limit sugar or who are sensitive to food dyes will thank you too.
13 Fun Alternatives to Hand Out This Year:
- Pencils, Erasers, and Pencil Toppers
- Bouncy Balls
- Mini Bottles of Water
- Fake Mustaches
- LED Light Up Rings
- Glow Bracelets
- Mini Play Dough
- Spooky Spider Rings
- Temporary Tattoos
Bonus: If you have some leftovers, most of them will keep until next year!
Safety in Numbers
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. To help ensure your trick-or-treaters are safe, read these safety tips before it’s time to go out.
Kids under age 12 should:
- Always go trick-or-treating with an adult
- Know how to call 911 in case they get lost
- Know their home phone number or your cellphone number if you don’t have a landline
- Wear glow sticks or carry a flashlight
Older kids who go out on their own should:
- Have a planned route and check-in times
- Carry a cellphone
- Go in a group and stay together
Safety in numbers is still the golden rule. Try to go out in a group within your own neighborhood and to the homes of people you know. Scary can be fun, but frightening injuries and Halloween tips to the hospital are not.
If you enjoyed reading the Halloween Safety and Health Tips and would like to learn more about living healthy, check out our other blog posts.
This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you are displaying very serious signs resulting in a time-sensitive medical emergency, you should seek immediate care and proceed to the emergency room right away.