Advancing Children's Health

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Spooktacular Safety

Published by , on Oct 25, 2013

As Halloween approaches and families begin choosing costumes, stocking up on candy and decorating their jack-o-lanterns, Corri Miller-Hobbs, RN, SafeKids Virginia Coordinator has a few tips for parents to ensure children stay safe during Halloween.Creature Crossinghalloween 2013With fewer kids walking to school these days, many don’t know safe pedestrian practices, so Halloween offers a great opportunity to practice these skills. Teach your children to look both ways (left, right, left), cross at corners, use cross walks and respect pedestrian crossing lights. Most children aren’t able to make safe traffic decisions until age 10, and shouldn’t walk your neighborhood alone until they are at least 10 and have demonstrated their understanding of the rules of the road. Most injuries occur when children run out into the road, so teach your kids to look for cars and to never assume that drivers see them. Remind older children not to use electronics such as phones or iPods while walking in order to stay alert and aware of cars and small children.Drivers also play a role in keeping kids safe during the festivities. On Halloween night, remember children will likely be trick-or-treating while you make your way home from work in the evening.  Turn your lights on earlier than you normally would, cut down on distractions like cell phones, and stay alert!Wise DisguiseWhen picking a costume, ensure it is age appropriate and fits properly to reduce the chances of catching or tripping, especially on stairs. Encourage your kids to wear makeup versus a mask, which can inhibit vision, and try not to pick a costume with a drawstring around the neck. Incorporate lights, glow features or reflective tape into your child’s costume so they stay visible while having fun.Candy Careful Remind your children to bring their candy loot home so an adult can give it a look. Adults, throw away any open pieces before the kids break into their treats. This may require sending kids on their way with a few provided snacks to satisfy the candy cravings. Note: Parents, this is also your opportunity to grab your favorite treat from the pile.Never Too Old?When deciding whether or not to let your teen go trick-or-treating, check you community and local law enforcement’s instructions to ensure you are abiding by the rules. If you decide it is okay, have a discussion with your teen about being respectful of others so they don’t frighten young children or any neighbors that might be alarmed when they open their door. Encourage your teens to visit the houses of neighbors they know, or attend a community sponsored event where they can enjoy the holiday and stay safe.So, while your hanging the spider webs and perfecting that princess costume, remember these tips to help keep your little ghosts and ghouls safe this Halloween.

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