At Halloween, parents should remember these 4 things

This look at a children’s health or safety issue comes from Dayton Children’s Hospital. Email: newsroom@childrensdayton.org.

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many kids. It provides a chance to dress-up in fun (or scary) costumes and dive into a bucket of candy that parents would never allow on any other day of the year. In essence, it is dream come true for kids. But on a night when children are more than twice as likely to suffer devastating injuries from car accidents, it can be a nightmare for parents.

“Children’s safety during Halloween is incredibly important,” said Melissa King, DO, medical director of Dayton Children’s Urgent Care. “Kids get caught up in the excitement of the holiday, so it’s important for parents to be alert and watch out, not only for cars but other dangerous situations — everything from costumes to candy.” With Halloween right around the corner Dayton Children’s has four key areas of safety for parents to remember.

Safe walking

It is important to make sure that younger children always have a chaperone. For older kids, organize a group of friends to go trick-or-treating together. Never allow your child inside the house or car of someone they do not know. Have your child carry a flashlight with them or fasten reflective tape to costumes. Teach them to use cross walks and sidewalks, look both ways before crossing the street and always walk instead of run.

Safe driving

Kids aren’t the only ones that have to follow the rules of the road. Drivers need to remember to go slowly, especially in neighborhoods. As always, remember to keep your eyes on the road and not on your phone, or other distractions, while driving.

Safe costumes

For younger children, be wary of accessories that they could choke on, and ensure that costumes fit appropriately. If you are buying a costume from the store, look for those that are flame retardant and make sure all accessories, such as pirate swords, are soft and/or bendable.

Safe candy

Remember to thoroughly check your children’s candy before allowing them to dig in. Look for tampering and items that could present a choking hazard. Try to ration your child’s candy instead of allowing them to eat all or most of it in one night. Additionally, for those passing out items to children on beggars night, think about replacing sugary candy with healthier alternatives. This can include other food items such as popcorn, pretzels, graham crackers or animal crackers. You could also consider coloring books, bubbles or stickers.

Remembering these quick tips can help ensure that your children not only have a good time, but remain safe, as well.