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It’s time to pull out the Halloween decorations, costumes and sweet treats. Everyone enjoys a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. Taking time to talk with your children before the holiday can help to make safety precautions part of your holiday fun.

Before you head out with your ghosts and goblins, consider the following safety rules:

  1. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult while trick-or-treating. Be sure to stick to the sidewalk, and look both ways before crossing the street. Use established cross walks, if possible, as drivers may be distracted. If there are no sidewalks where you trick-or-treat, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  2. For greater visibility at dusk, add reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you. It’s a good idea to carry a flashlight with you as well.
  3. Examine all treats for choking hazards. Stick to commercially-wrapped treats, and avoid homemade treats made by strangers.
  4. If you’re handing out treats from your doorstep, be sure your walkway and doorway are lit properly and free of debris. Keep any flammable things, such as candlelit pumpkins, out of the direct walking path of trick-or-treaters.

It’s also important to ensure your child has a good meal prior to trick-or-treating, as it will discourage kiddos from filling up on candy. Remember, simple precautions can help ensure a fun and safe Halloween for everyone.

Lydia Blankenship, BSN, RN, Director of Trauma Services at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Safe Kids Worldwide

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