Halloween Safety Tips

The streets will soon be overrun with little goblins, ghouls, witches, superheroes, fairy princesses and more as Halloween is just around the corner.

Harbin Clinic Pediatrics offers the following tips for parents and families to help keep children safe and healthy this Halloween.

Healthy eating before trick-or-treating

Properly fueling children with a healthy dinner before trick-or-treating is key to cutting down on sugar consumption throughout the evening. Fill tummies with a wholesome meal and set a limit for how many pieces of candy kids can have for dessert.

“X” marks the spot

Don’t let the kids run wild as soon as you leave the house. Map out the route you will take and prepare children for where you’ll go. These parameters will help manage expectations and make the experience more enjoyable.

Herd the Horde

Stress the importance of everyone sticking together and discourage wandering off or lagging behind. For a large group with multiple children and families, make sure one adult is the designated leader and another is responsible for bringing up the rear. This will help ensure no one gets lost and provide peace of mind.

Shed a little light

It’s always a good idea to wear reflective gear, carry flashlights and equip kids with glow sticks or glow-in-the-dark accessories to make your group more visible to drivers. This will help lessen the risk of accidents and allow adults to keep track of the kids.

Always use sidewalks and crosswalks

Be sure to contain trick-or-treating activity to pedestrian-friendly areas with plenty of sidewalks. Discourage children from walking in the street or near busy roads and stress to kids to look both ways before crossing a street.

We’re walking . . . and we’re walking  

Overexcited children may want to run from door to door, but reassure them the candy isn’t going to run out. Walking, even at a brisk pace, will help reduce the likelihood of kids accidentally tripping and hurting themselves, choking on a piece of candy or running out into oncoming traffic.

Candy is a gift that should be wrapped

Inspect your child’s candy at the end of the night and dispose of any that isn’t factory wrapped or looks suspicious. While cookies or other home-baked goods may look appetizing, avoid letting children indulge in these treats unless you know and trust the person who made them.

Never go inside a stranger’s home

Respectfully decline invitations to enter the home of anyone you do not know and instruct children to do the same. Always keep conversations and candy giving at the front door to avoid putting yourself and your kids in a potentially dangerous situation.

For information about how to keep your children safe and healthy year round, make an appointment with your Harbin Clinic pediatrician or visit www.harbinclinic.com.