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There’s No Trick to Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

Author: CHKD Medical Group
Published Date: Monday, October 16, 2017

By Dr. Kimberly Barker, PDC Pediatrics

Thousands of children are treated at emergency departments each year for Halloween-related injuries. Incidents involve burns, lacerations and falls, and children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other night of the year.

Avoid a scary trip to the ER this Halloween and ensure a safe and happy holiday for your little ghost or goblin with these tips.

Safety reminders for trick-or-treaters

  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick for greater visibility.
  • Watch for cars! Use crosswalks and do not walk behind parked cars.
  • Always stay on well-lit streets and use the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk available, walk on the far edges of the roadway facing oncoming traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or through alleyways.
  • Only go to homes that have a porch light on and never enter any home or car for a treat.
  • Remember to stay in groups.
  • A parent should always accompany young trick-or-treaters.
  • Older trick-or-treaters should carry a cellphone for quick or emergency communication.

Costume Safety

  • Add reflective tape to costumes and/or treat bags.
  • Make sure your child’s shoes fit and his costume is not too long. This will help prevent tangles, trips and falls as well as accidental contact with flames.
  • Avoid masks as they can obstruct a child’s vision. When possible, use non-toxic face paint or makeup instead.
  • Make sure your child’s costume and accessories are made of flame-resistant materials.
  • If a sword, cane or stick is part of your child’s costume, make sure it isn’t long and sharp.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye exam and a prescription. Using decorative contact lenses without a prescription is dangerous, illegal and may cause serious eye disorders and infections, which could lead to permanent vision loss.

Pumpkin Carving

  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Instead, encourage your child to draw a face on the pumpkin and let parents do the cutting.
  • Consider using a glow stick or flashlight to light your pumpkin instead of a candle or other flame.
  • If you decide to light your pumpkin with a candle, votive candles are safest. Keep lit pumpkins away from any porch or path where visitors may pass. If inside, lit pumpkins should be kept on a sturdy table and away from curtains. Never leave a lit pumpkin unattended.

Preparing Your Home

  • Remove anything a child might trip over from your porch or front yard, such as toys, bikes, lawn decorations.
  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned out bulbs.
  • Make sure driveways and walkways are clear of any snow or wet leaves.
  • Restrain pets so they don’t frighten or knock over unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.

Additionally, you may want to consider reviewing how to call 9-1-1 with your child so if he becomes lost he knows what to do. Always examine your child’s treats closely and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.



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About CHKD Medical Group

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.