Keeping kids safe at Halloween

- Halloween night has many little ghouls and goblins out and about in search of tricks or treats in their neighborhoods. 

But before letting the little ones out the door for the night, there are a few things that parents can do to make sure it's a safe and enjoyable evening.

Halloween safety is important for kids big and small.    

Dr.  Richard So of Cleveland Clinic Children's recommends trick-or treaters carry flashlights or glow sticks so they're visible in the dark. He says parents should set rules, too, like no running from house to house or in between cars. Little ghosts and goblins should also never cross the street alone.  

"Car safety is a big issue during Halloween. There's twice as many car-pedestrian accidents on Halloween night than any other day of the year. We don't recommend kids under 10 years old crossing a major street or a street at all," Dr. So says. 

In the midst of making sure costumes, masks and accessories fit properly, are reflective, and fire resistant, Dr. So says parents can also teach their little ones a valuable lesson.

"Number one, a thing that we look for is manners. You know, I think we should all do a dry-run where you practice at home, you say, 'Trick-or-treat' - and what does every parent say on the curb? They all want their kid to say, 'Thank you.'"

To keep Halloween night from becoming a horror when it's time for bed, try to keep kids from eating too much candy on the run.

"Every child, or group of children, should have like a pizza party or eat a huge meal. Feed them their favorite food for dinner before you go out so they're stuffed. Number one, they'll walk it off; number two, if they're hungry, they're going to want to eat on the road."

Dr. So advises families to talk about the importance of staying together and says it's good to have a pre-determined meeting place where everyone can go if they get separated. He says parents should also have their cell phones on them and charged at all times.  

Dr. So says parents must pay close attention to kids who have food allergies. Make a rule that no one eats their candy until mom and dad have checked it at home. If your child has food allergies, makes sure you bring your epinephrine pen with you when you head out the door to trick-or-treat.  

Veterinarians also warn for pets Halloween can be tough. Dogs can ingest candy that can be harmful and all pets can get scared and run away. 
 

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