Halloween is almost here! Are you ready for some trick-or-treating action with your little ghouls and goblins? Collecting candy, dressing up and seeing pumpkins on doorsteps is super fun. But, it’s also important for parents to keep safety in mind, especially if they have children with food allergies or toddlers and young kids new to the trick-or-treating scene. Here are some trick-or-treating safety tips so you and your kids can enjoy a fun and safe Halloween season this year!
Trick-Or-Treating Safety Tips
Spooky season is an exciting and creative time for little ones. But it’s also a time when kids can be at an increased risk for injuries, including serious ones.
To start, consider vehicular traffic. Make sure your child’s costume is in bright colors and reflective. Remind kids to cross the street at corners or crosswalks.
A 2019 study from JAMA Pediatrics says 4- to 8-year-old children experienced a 10-fold increase in pedestrian fatality risk on Halloween. The highest risks were around 6pm when daylight fades.
To help keep kids safe at night, one of the best things parents can do is to focus on traffic safety. Just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t mean everyone will be mindful on the road.
As the study reports in its conclusions, “…policymakers, physicians and parents should act to make residential streets safer for pedestrians on Halloween and throughout the year.”
Consider costume safety
When it comes to trick-or-treating safety tips, it’s important to make sure your child’s costume fits well. If they’re wearing a mask, make sure they can see out of it.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends wearing makeup and hats rather than costume masks that can obscure the wearer’s vision.
But trick-or-treating safety tips apply to makeup, too. The FDA recommends checking its list of color additives to see if the colors are FDA approved. If they aren’t approved for their intended use, don’t use them, the agency says. This is especially important for colored makeup around the eyes.
Test makeup for possible allergic reaction at least 24-48 hours in advance, the FDA says. Put a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it. If a rash, redness, swelling or other signs of irritation develop where the makeup was applied, that’s a sign of a possible allergy.
Wear costumes that say “flame resistant” on the label, the FDA says, adding if you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon.
Find more trick-or-treating safety tips from the FDA here.
Help Prevent Food Allergies
Don’t forget about food allergies either, when it comes to trick-or-treating safety tips.
Most parents of children with food allergies make their kids aware that unknown candy could be a potential risk. But, as extra precaution, it doesn’t hurt to remind them to bring all candy home first before unwrapping and eating it.
This year, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) partnered with CVS Pharmacy again for its famous Teal Pumpkin Project.
As part of the partnership, CVS is communicating Teal Pumpkin offerings with customers through in-store signage to help shoppers identify food-allergy friendly items. These include small treats, and fun toys such teal pumpkin buckets, craft kits, spooky spiders and critters, and more.
(We’re told there are many more fun items to browse this year, too.)
Anyone can participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project by placing a teal-colored pumpkin on their doorstep to signal that, in addition to candy, non-food goodies and food allergy safe treats are available for trick or treaters.
“We are thrilled to grow our partnership with CVS Pharmacy, a company that shares our dedication to inclusivity and safety,” Sung Poblete, RN, PhD, CEO of FARE, said. “Last year was such a great success and, this year, together, we will reach even more families across the nation, spreading awareness about food allergies and creating a sense of belonging during cherished celebrations.”
Poblete added, “By combining our efforts, we will make a meaningful difference in the lives of the 85 million Americans who are affected by food allergies and intolerances.”
As a bonus, the partnership between FARE and CVS will extend into Valentine’s Day 2024 and the spring season. The pharmacy will continue to offer allergy-friendly and non-food options to help those who have allergies celebrate holidays safely.
Trick-or-treating safety tips include checking candy, and it’s important to always check your child’s candy before they eat it. Tell your kids not to eat any candy until they get home, said Gerard Lennon, crime prevention officer at Adelphi University and retired NYPD lieutenant.
You don’t want them eating candy in wrappers that have been tampered with.
“Check all candy for open wrappers. If they’re open—even just slightly—toss them in the trash,” Lennon said.
Also, throw away any loose candy. All candy should be completely wrapped.
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