Trick or treat? Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to your children. Make Halloween safety part of your holiday fun! There are several easy and effective behaviors that you can share with your kids to help reduce their risk of injury. Laura McHolm shares some of her tips to keep this spooky night safe for the whole family below via The Huffington Post.
1. Choking hazards: As a good rule of thumb, a choking hazard could be considered as anything that can pass through a cardboard toilet paper roll holder unobstructed. So, taking that into consideration, look closely at all the items that you are putting out to display. From bats and ghosts to pumpkins you roast. Hazards lurk everywhere!
2. Flashlights: Child-safe flashlights should have a child-safe battery door on them that is secured by a screw to prevent removal of the battery, thus preventing a choking hazard. Use flashlights or electric candles to light up your pumpkin too; flames and kids don't mix.
3. Halloween lights: Look for Halloween light strings that have tamper-resistant bulbs that can't be removed easily, and remember cords pose a strangulation hazard. All cords should be kept short and tight. Consider taking the excess that you might leave hanging and bind it up with a zip tie. So it can't be made in to a loop to be placed around a child's neck.
4. Pumpkin carving: Remember to only use child-safe cutting tools while carving pumpkins, even as an adult. Kids learn by watching you, so if you use real knives you must know that they will want to do the same. As soon as you turn around to grab something you forgot... little hands wander.
5. Costumes: As a kid it's mandatory to dress up. Our job is to make sure dress up is safe. Costumes should never obstruct movement, never cause visual impairment and never pose a trip hazard. Stick to material that is form fitting. If it's loose, baggy or long it could create a trip hazard. Avoid masks that can impair vision. Face painting is the safest mask.
6. Glow at night: Make sure your child's costume is visible or is is equipped with something that makes them visible. Glow sticks are great and kids love them, but remember, never hang anything around their little necks unless you are using a child safe breakaway lanyard. A couple of glow sticks secured to shoes can be seen from a long way away. Flashlights are a good additive as well.
7. Candy: Remember to make sure you go through and check all the candy that you are keeping. The candy should be in name brand with sealed packages. For candy bars, be sure you cut them into small pieces that are easy to chew. This also helps to ensure it hasn't been tampered with.
To learn more about child safety on Halloween, visit safekids.org.