Halloween, the spookiest time of the year is just round the corner and here are some tips for kids to steer clear from hidden health and safety dangers suggested by Stony Brook Children's.
Costume Caution: Picking out costumes kicks off the Halloween spirit, but before hitting the streets, parents should know that their children's costumes are not only silly, spooky or sweet, but most importantly, safe!
Expert from the Ambulatory Primary Care Pediatrics, Jill Creighton suggests: Test Run: Test face make-up on arms two to three days before Halloween to be sure it will not irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction. See Clearly: Do not allow children to wear decorative contact lenses. They can impair vision or cause an infection. Worse, they may irritate the eye, which can then lead to an abrasion of the cornea.
Flame-Resistant: Costumes that brush up against candles and candle-lit jack-o-lanterns can ignite and cause serious burns. Be sure to monitor children around candle-lit lanterns and jack-o-lanterns in walkways and door entrances.
Safety on the Trick-Or-Treat Trail: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is one of the top days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. Sergey Kunkov reminds parents that supervising kids in the street requires full-attention. "The most effective way to prevent distractions is to put cell phones away. Keep eyes and minds on little ones at all times," said Kunkov.
Parents should also be alert as it gets dark during peak trick-or-treating hours from 4-6pm. Neighborhood streets will be crowded with cars driving home from work, and there is low visibility for drivers at dusk. Smart costume choices are a great way to prevent accidents while walking from house to house.
Keeping Treats Sweet: While little ghosts and goblins can't wait to gobble up their Halloween goodies, Kunkov urged parents to check the candy before letting their kids eat it. "While tampering is rare, it is best to play it safe and throw out anything that is not sealed or a recognized brand," he said. Halloween can also be a tricky time for children with food allergies.
Susan Schuval, from the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology gives these tips to keep fun front and center, but allergic reactions at bay: Carry emergency medications at all times (antihistamine/epinephrine autoinjector) Provide parental supervision while trick-or-treating and sorting the candy afterwards Before giving the "OK," check all ingredients and remember treat-sized candy may different in ingredients and may be made on different machinery Better Safe than Sorry: Sort through and swap out candy that the child may be allergic to.