Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating

Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating

Tips for Safe Trick-or-Treating

Make sure costumes are visible, discard homemade goodies, expert advises

SOURCE: Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, news release, Oct. 24, 2014

SATURDAY, Oct. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Arriving home safe and sound is one of the best Halloween treats of all.

To that end, be sure that costumes and goody bags have reflective strips that improve visibility to drivers, said Dr. Sampson Davis, an emergency medicine doctor at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, N.J.

Trick-or-treaters should also carry a flashlight, and costumes should be flame-resistant, Davis said.

He offers these others tips:

  • If you plan to use makeup, test it on a small area of skin first to ensure it doesn't cause an allergic reaction. Wash makeup off immediately after returning home.
  • Costume accessories should be soft and pliable in order to reduce injury risk. Don't wear decorative contact lenses, which can cause eye infections.
  • Comfortable and supportive footwear can help prevent blisters and sprains.
  • Don't let children eat homemade treats made by strangers and limit the amount of treats they eat at one time.
  • When trick-or-treating, children should stay alert and walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

"The reality is there are predators who use Halloween in particular as a day to disguise themselves when plotting an attack," Davis said. "Safeguard your children by making sure they stick together in a large group and have an adult along to prevent an incident from unfolding."

He reminded trick-or-treaters never to approach or get in a car with a stranger and never enter the home of a stranger. "Halloween is a fun time. Let's make sure we do all that is possible to keep it that way," Davis said in a hospital news release.

If children aren't accompanied by an adult, they should carry a charged cell phone so they can call for help immediately, or provide parents with updates about their location, he said. And kids should know not to text while walking or crossing an intersection.

Monitor how much your kids eat and "filter through the bag of goodies received during trick-or-treating," Davis added.

Discard homemade treats and unwrapped goods, he said. "The risk isn't worth it, as one doesn't know the exact ingredients used in preparation. Prevent possible allergy exposure, bacteria and lastly poison by only allowing wrapped, sealed treats," Davis said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about Halloween health and safety.
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