Safety City U.S.A. Offers Halloween Safety Tips

10/24/2013

As Halloween approaches, Donna Bucciarelli, R.N., from Safety City U.S.A. and Beaumont Children's Hospital in Royal Oak offers some practical safety tips for parents and their children.

"For many the observance of Halloween begins with pumpkin carving. Never let your children help in carving or cutting your pumpkins, " says Donna Bucciarelli, R.N., Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, trauma prevention coordinator and Safety City U.S.A. education program manager. "Instead, encourage them to draw the face on the pumpkin with crayon or marker. They can also help remove the seeds inside the of pumpkin."

Donna suggests parents meet with their children a few days before Halloween to discuss safe trick-or-treating. "You really need to emphasize the importance of pedestrian and traffic safety. If sidewalks are present, insist your children stay on the walkways and out of the street."

According to AAA, Michigan, the risk of becoming a pedestrian fatality increases four times on Halloween. It's important that parent and kids be seen at dusk and dark. Trick-or-treaters using flashlights and glow sticks improve drivers' nighttime vision.

"Parents also need to discuss possible fire hazards with their children," adds Bucciarelli. "This is especially important with the popularity of Halloween luminaries lining some sidewalks. Children need to be told to stay away from open flames. Review with your child the principles of 'Stop, Drop and Roll.'"

When it's finally time to size up the prize, children need adult supervision to inspect their goodie-bags and make sure the treats are safe. Parents need to pitch any unwrapped or suspicious foods. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.

Halloween safety tips from Safety City U.S.A.

  • When decorating around your home use LED lights in pumpkins and other decorations instead of candles
  • Keep pumpkins and lights away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children will be walking
  • Before sending your child out to trick-or-treat make sure they eat a nutritious meal. Children will be less likely to eat their candy before inspection
  • Younger children should always be accompanied by an adult
  • Older children should wear a watch and carry a cell phone
  • Younger children should always be accompanied by an adult
  • Purchase or make costumes that are bright, reflective and can be seen in low light conditions. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes
  • Most commercial costumes are flame resistant, check the label on your child's costume to ensure it's made of flame-retardant material
  • Make sure that if a costume has a prop like a knife or pitchfork that it's soft and flexible. This will ensure if the treat-or-treater falls or trips they will not be injured by sharp or hard edges
  • Test all face paint and costume make-up to make sure your child doesn't develop a rash or adverse skin reaction
  • Make sure your child's costume doesn't impede their ability to walk- shoes should fit properly and the length of the costume should allow your child to move freely
  • Be careful of sharp edges on masks and make sure it fits your child properly
  • Tell your child to remove their mask when walking from house to house for better vision
  • Don't allow trick-or-treaters to change their eye color with nonprescription cosmetic contact lenses. This may not only impede vision, but can result in an eye infection and/or damage to the eyes. Looking for more information on avoiding Halloween costume hazards? Read this latest entry on the Beaumont Blog.
  • Make yourself and your trick-or-treaters visible- use reflective treat bags; bring flashlights with new batteries; or use "glow sticks"
  • Only trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods
  • Always inspect your child's treats before they're eaten
  • Throw away any treats that are homemade or not commercially wrapped
  • Homeowners should make sure their pets are secure inside the house away from the children

Safety City U.S.A. is the first nonprofit, injury prevention/safety education center in Michigan. It is a program of the Level I Trauma Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and Beaumont Children's Hospital. The emphasis is on "hands-on" safety education to reduce injuries and save lives among children, teens, parents and seniors in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties. Safety City U.S.A. is supported by donations from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and is located in the Northwood Shopping Center in Royal Oak. The center includes replicas of a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, family room and an indoor park setting.