COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Halloween festivities are underway and many kids are getting ready for trick-or-treating through the last week of October.
When it comes to picking out costumes and handing out candy, there are some safety tips families can go by for spooky season.
Dr. Mike Patrick, Emergency Medicine Physician with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, recommends checking if the costume is flame-resistant. You can do this by checking the packaging the costume comes in. Dr. Patrick also urges parents to make sure their child’s costume is as bright as possible and to wear good-fitting shoes.
“It’s going to be important so they don’t trip,” said Dr. Patrick. “A lot of costumes may come with something to put on their feet, so you’ll want to make sure that it really fits well.”
Other items to avoid for costumes include any sharp or long objects like swords, canes and sticks.
If you are using any makeup on your face and skin, parents will want to make sure it is non-toxic. Dr. Patrick also urges trick-or-treaters to avoid decorative contact lenses.
“Those can actually be dangerous, especially when kids aren’t used to wearing contact lenses,” said Dr. Patrick. “We do see sometimes kids get scratches on the eye and infections in the eye, so we want to be careful and not use those.”
When it comes to candy safety, it’s recommended that children wait to eat their candy until they get home. This is so parents can sort through what they received and take away any treats that could cause issues for those with allergies, if the treats are spoiled, unwrapped or if any other issues come about, including suspicious packaging.
Kids that are trick-or-treating without parents
If your child is going trick-or-treating, it’s recommended to make sure you can communicate with them at all times while they are out. Dr. Patrick also urges parents to know who they are with and where they are going.
“I think the most important is you know your child’s maturity level,” said Dr. Patrick. “So if your child doesn’t have a habit of making good decisions or there’s been issues before even if they’re older, you still may want to go out with the group.”
Tips for those handing out candy
Many households will have their porch lights on, handing out candy to kids but there are some safety issues to keep in mind. Think about food allergies like peanuts, tree nuts and chocolate and alternate treats to give out to kids who cant have certain candies.
Also make sure hazards are out of the way when kids are walking up to your home. Pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns with open-flames should be out of the way where children won’t knock them over.
“You’re going to want to have well-lit lighting,”said Dr. Patrick. “Any cords, rakes and tools, just make sure that everything is clear…be careful that there are no tripping hazards there.”
For the full interview with Dr. Patrick, you can view it in the video player below.