Child Health Seth Stratton | one year ago

Stress Less with These Halloween Safety Tips

BEWARE as you celebrate all things spooky.

Have you talked with your little ghouls and goblins about Halloween safety yet? The combination of dark streets and excited children running from house to house can get overwhelming. But with a little planning – and lots of supervision – you and your little ones can make it through Halloween unharmed. One of the best ways to prevent injury is setting expectations and reviewing the do's and don'ts of trick-or-treating in advance. “Halloween can be a great night of make-believe, family fun, but there’s also potential for some serious safety risks,” says Dr. Jason Bolden, the medical director of Carolinas HealthCare System SouthPark US Acute Care Services of Mecklenburg. “For parents, there’s a fine line between fun and safety. But it’s up to us to make sure our kids and other trick-or-treaters have a safe holiday, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.” Brush up on these tips from emergency room doctors, so you and your kids are prepared to have a happy and safe Halloween.

Cater to trick-or-treaters

  • Don’t invite children into your home – even children you know – so they won’t get comfortable entering people’s homes on Halloween.
  • Make sure your pets are secure.
  • Keep your yard, driveway and entryway well-lit to prevent tripping.
  • Avoid the use of real candles; use battery-powered candles.

Before you head out

  • Children should eat a meal or snack, so they won’t be tempted to eat their candy.
  • Put away any costume makeup, as it can be harmful if ingested.
  • Discuss your route, any safety concerns and make sure everyone knows who is supervising the group.
  • If you have older kids, make sure they know what time you want them home.

Check everyone’s costume

  • Buy costumes made of flame-retardant material and place your child’s contact info inside.
  • Make sure everything fits well. Children can trip on long costumes, and loose costumes can get caught on bushes, fences and mailboxes.
  • The brighter the costume the better. Adding reflective tape on costumes and carrying a flashlight also helps your child stand out.
  • Masks should not block your child’s sight. For extra safety, have them take off their mask to cross the street.

When you trick-or-treat

  • Walk facing traffic and don’t run. When possible, use sidewalks and crosswalks.
  • Do not cross yards and grassy areas.
  • Stay in well-lit areas and follow driveways and walkways to doors.
  • To prevent falls, have children avoid areas with a lot of decorations.

Make plans to swap out your goodies

What: Four Carolinas HealthCare System emergency departments will host family-friendly “Switch or Treat” candy swap events. You can exchange any extra Halloween candy for something healthier and your candy will be donated to a local charity. The first 100 guests get a free Panthers' Sir Purr stuffed animal, which they can take through our Teddy Bear Clinic to learn about what they may experience at the doctor's office. When: 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 Participating locations:
  • CHS Harrisburg Emergency Department, 9592 Rocky River Road Harrisburg, NC 28215
  • CHS Huntersville Emergency Department, 16455 Statesville Road Huntersville, NC 28078
  • CHS SouthPark Emergency Department, 6965 Fairview Road Charlotte, NC 28211
  • CHS Waxhaw Emergency Department, 2700 Providence Road S. Waxhaw, NC 28173