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It’s Scary How Fun Halloween Can Be…When It’s Safe!

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31
Oct

AA046386

Kathryn Gutierrez is a care coordinator in the Emergency Department at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Kathryn Gutierrez is a care coordinator in the Emergency Department at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Halloween is a fun time for kids: the dressing up, the candy, the decorations, the going outside after dark! Here are some tips to keep it fun – and safe.

Parents

  • We all know to inspect our kids’ candy when they get home, and eat all the good stuff when they are sleeping. Throw away anything unwrapped or damaged.
  • Consider giving away something other than sweets. Pencils, erasers, pretzels, coins, marbles – all make fun treasures for school-age kids.
  • Feed the kids a healthy meal. I like to fill mine up so they are less interested in snacking while trick-or-treating. Kids know that a good dinner makes for more stamina for trick or treating.
  • Remind kids to never, ever go into a stranger’s house or car – any time of the year.

Costumes

  • Make sure kids can see properly. Consider make-up instead of a mask.
  • It gets dark early, so have them wear a glow necklace or two (plus it makes them easier to keep an eye on!).
  • Make sure your costume is layered for warmth, comfort and movement.
  • Reflective tape on bags, shoes, and parts of costumes is a great idea!

Safety

  • Be careful when you cross the street.  Drivers can’t always see Darth Vader and Batman at night!
  • Be careful around pets. Even your own pets can be scared of costumes. Consider putting pets in a safe place if you get trick-or-treaters. Most pets are not up for trick-or-treating either. There are lots of unfamiliar sights and screaming/shrieking and chocolate and….
  • Watch out for trip hazards (toys, bikes, lawn decorations, parts of the costume), and stick to the paths.
  • Stay in a group. It’s more fun when you’re with friends.

Some alternatives

  • Why carve the pumpkin when you can paint or decorate one instead? It’s safe for all ages, and they last longer.
  • On Halloween night, our household is visited by the Switch-Witch. Kids remove their favorite candy pieces (and any non-sweet finds), and leave the rest of their bag in the big pumpkin outside. If she comes, she takes the candy for the goblins, and leaves some gifts in the morning. If she doesn’t, well, they still have the candy. She always comes, and they look forward to it.

Kathryn Gutierrez is a care coordinator in the Emergency Department at Fletcher Allen Health Care. 

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