(O’Fallon, IL) – With Halloween and trick-or-treating right around the corner, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital encourages everyone to make the health and safety of their family a priority. Below are some tips to ensure a “SAFE HALLOWEEN.”
S – Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
A – Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
F – Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags or wear a blinking light to help drivers see you.
E – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
H – Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
A – Always test makeup in a small area first. Remove before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
L – Look both ways before crossing the street, use crosswalks where possible and walk, don’t run!
L – Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
O – Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible or on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
W – Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked visions, trips and falls.
E – Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
E – Enter a home only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit homes; never stop at a dark house.
N – Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
While trick-or-treating is meant to be fun, it can be an anxious time for families affected by food allergies. Here are five tips for those affected by food allergies:
No eating until you are home. There will be better lighting and less distraction – allowing you to properly read and check all labels to make sure the treats are safe to eat.
Read labels carefully. Some miniature candies have different labels than regular sized versions. Read every label – even if you’ve eaten it before. If there’s any doubt at all – don’t eat it.
Avoid home-baked goods, unless you’ve had clear communication to make sure they’re allergen-free.
Have safe treats ready to swap! Have a stash of safe treats or prizes at home. When your child pulls an unsafe treat out of their bag and is disappointed, they can’t eat it – you’ll have a safe alternative ready for them.
Have self-injectable epinephrine and a fully-charged cellphone with you during trick-or-treating. Accidents can happen – so be prepared.
Drivers should also be extra safe on Halloween. Slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways. Be sure to enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully and take extra time to look for children at intersections, on both medians and curbs. Popular trick-or-treating times are 5:30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m., so it is recommended that drivers be extra alert for children during that time interval.
Residents handing out treats can help with safety by keeping lawn and porches clear of obstructions such as toys and garden hoses, and clear wet leaves or other debris from the sidewalk. Replace any burned-out bulbs to ensure good visibility at the walkway and front door, and pets should be kept under control so that they do not bite or chase children at your door.
And finally, when it comes to the tradition of pumpkin carving, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against small children carving pumpkins with sharp utensils. Instead they should draw a face with markers.
Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects. They should also never be left unattended. A safer option is to use a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light the pumpkin.
By following these tips, you can help ensure to have a safe and Happy Halloween!