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article imageSome safety tips for having a ghoulishly happy Halloween

By Karen Graham     Oct 25, 2016 in Health
It's Halloween, the time of year when jack-o-lanterns sport fiendish, candle-lit grins and witches fly through the night. It is also the night when little ghosts and goblins hit the streets to knock on neighbor's doors, shouting "Trick-or-treat!"
The FDA, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all want you and your children to have a happy and safe Halloween this year. Following are a few safety tips to help in ensuring the whole family has a great time.
Preparing for Halloween
From carving the pumpkin to making sure the front yard is cleared of anything someone could trip over or stumble on is just as important as getting that "perfect costume" ready.
Last year, Digital Journalist, Marcus Hondro gave us some excellent advice on carving pumpkins, writing: "Children should not partake in the actual carving of the pumpkin. You could turn away in a moment of distraction and an injury could result. Have them draw the faces etc. with markers."
And try not to use candles. There are now LED lights, glow sticks and other alternatives that are much safer around children. The day before Halloween, check your front yard and porch, removing any objects that could inadvertently cause an injury.
And it is a good idea to keep your pets restrained or in another area of the house when trick-or-treaters come knocking. You don't want any pets accidentally biting someone or being stressed.
Costume safety
Don't let poor costume choices ruin your Halloween fun. If you purchase your costume, make sure it is made of a flame-retardant material, or if you make your costume, use materials like nylon or polyester.
And just a word on those scary Halloween contact lenses: don't use them. An eye injury will haunt you long after the holiday is over.
Children's costumes need to be bright and reflective so they will be seen in the dark. If the costume chosen is of a dark material, add reflective tape. The costume should be short to prevent tripping. And hats and makeup are actually better than masks because a child's eyesight isn't hindered.
Makeup is another source of injuries. If you do use makeup, be sure it is hypoallergenic. Test the makeup you plan to use by putting a small amount on your arm or the arm of the person who will be wearing it a couple of days in advance. If a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation show up, that's a possible sign of allergy.
Safety of treats for little goblins
Scoring a big bag of candy is probably the best part of trick-or-treating, and that hasn't changed for many years. But there are a few safety rules you should be aware of, particularly if your child has an allergy. We are going to outline them:
1. Give the kids a snack before they go trick-or-treating. This will discourage any snacking on the goodies collected.
2. Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
3. Tell your children not to accept — or eat — anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
4. When your child has a food allergy, check the labels on candy before letting him or her dive into the treat bag.
5. With very young children, remove all choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
6. Inspect all the candies for evidence of tampering, and throw out anything that looks suspicious.
7. Fresh fruits like apples are nice, but as a precaution, toss them in the trash because you don't know if they harbor pathogens.
And as Marcus Hondro said last year, "The bottom line is that all of us, kids and adults, deserve a fun and accident-free night of celebration at Halloween so take a little time to ensure that's exactly what your family gets. And have a Happy and Safe Halloween!"
More about Halloween, safety tips, food tips, commerciallywrapped candies, Children
 
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