Halloween Advice from Super Safety Mom

There are a lot of things to look forward to at Halloween – the candy, the decorations, the costumes and did I mention, the candy.

It is fun to be a child at Halloween.

Still, as the pediatrician who is not so endearingly nicknamed “super-safety-mom,” I feel it is important to take a moment and remind everyone about staying safe.

Have Appropriate Supervision

In the excitement of Halloween, children are likely to be more focused on trick-or-treating than staying safe. Adults should always accompany young kids. And going as a group can be a fun and safe way to celebrate. Older children who tread alone should have a route approved by parents and have a set return time. And while everyone is supposed to look suspicious – it is Halloween after all – remind your children of a few rules, such as: Never enter a strangers’ house; Do not get into the car with individuals you do not know; Pay attention to truly suspicious behavior and alert a trusted adult or the local authorities.

Stay Alert

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that pedestrian injuries and fatalities among children 15 and under increase as much as four times on Halloween night.

Stay safe while you are trick-or-treating by sticking to streets that are well-lit and always use appropriate crosswalks; never cross the street between parked cars or out driveways. Look both ways, and please do not assume the right-of-way.

Always use sidewalks and if there are not side-walks, walk at the far edge of the road, facing traffic.

Be Visible

Keep all costumes bright and reflective. You can even add retro-reflective marking and tape to trick or treat bags and other gear.

Costumes should be short to avoid tripping.

Masks can be quite dangerous since they mask your child’s vision.  Consider makeup and hats instead.

Make sure flashlights are loaded with fresh batteries.

And please, watch the swords and rifles- they have a way of getting into others’ personal space.

Keep it Fun for Others

And for those of us sans kids or who just decide to maintain the home front, we can make it safe and keep it fun for others. Check that the outside of your house is adequately lit, remove toys, decorations or other objects that may trip adults and kids, and please watch your pets. The constant flow of strangers can be scary and stressful for some pets, while others may try to sneak out when the door opens.

Keep it Healthy

What about all that candy?  Start off Halloween night with a good dinner to decrease the chance of getting filled up on candy. It would be great if your children received pencils, stickers and books and wonderful if you could pass such out.  But who are we kidding?!  Please check all goods before they become real to your child.  Try to ration them on daily/weekly basis. Some dentist offices and even local fire stations have a “buy back” program, and will offer small toys or even cash. If you can’t find one near you, create your own and provide a special treat or cash for every pound of candy.

Well, I think I’ve lived up to my moniker with all these “super-safety” rules. But would be remiss without one more reminder – be sure to have fun and enjoy the best of Halloween!