A Safe and Healthy Halloween is a Real Treat
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† If everything goes right, a child‚Äôs costume will be the scariest part of their Halloween. Adults can help by making sure there is a balance of fun and safety, and with a little imagination, you can even promote good health.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúThe excitement that comes with an evening of costumes and candy can make children forget what they need to do to stay safe,‚ÄĚ said Douglas County Health Director, Dr. Adi Pour. ‚ÄúThis also is a chance to replace sugary treats with healthy options like fresh fruit.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The first thing to think of when choosing a costume is to consider how visible your child will be to passing drivers as darkness falls. Plan for an outfit that is bright, or make darker colors more noticeable with the simple addition of reflective tape. And, don‚Äôt overlook size says Lisa Reichter, trauma nurse coordinator at Children‚Äôs Hospital & Medical Center.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs important that a costume fits properly. ¬†Have the child try it on before buying, and make appropriate alterations or adjustments to borrowed costumes and hand-me-downs.¬† Wearing the right size is important in preventing trips and falls or accidental contact with a lighted jack-o-lantern,‚ÄĚ she says
Shoes that fit are also important, adds Reichter, along with flame resistant fabrics, wigs and accessories.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Never let children trick or treat alone, and before Halloween night, talk to them about safety:¬†
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Cross streets at corners and use crosswalks when available.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Look twice and look again before crossing.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Walk, never run, and use sidewalks and paths. Do not walk in the street.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Only visit well-lit houses and never enter the home of a stranger.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Avoid candles or luminaries and wear flame-resistant costumes.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Carry a flashlight or a glow stick to increase visibility.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Halloween provides an opportunity for healthy activities. Walking around the neighborhood provides good exercise for children and parents alike.¬† If you will be sharing treats with young ghosts and goblins, consider apples, bananas, raisins, trail mix or pretzels.¬† Non-food treats, including small toys, pencils or other school supplies are another popular option.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† It‚Äôs also good for families to wrap up the night with a thorough check of treats.¬† Remove candy, foods or toys with small pieces that are not age appropriate and could be a choking hazard for young children.¬† Additionally, parents should closely examine all items and throw away anything that is unwrapped, spoiled or appears suspicious.¬†