Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

Neighborhoods will soon be buzzing with little witches, warlocks, ghosts, goblins - and superheroes, princesses and Jedis - as Halloween draws closer.

October 31st is a fun-filled experience for kids and families, but in order to keep your Halloween adventures as safe and healthy as possible, Harbin Clinic Pediatrics offers these tips for getting treats instead of tricks:

Fuel up Beforehand

Making sure kids have a healthy dinner before trick-or-treating is important for cutting down on sugar consumption throughout the night. Fill those little tummies with a wholesome meal and set a limit for how much candy kids can have for dessert.

Stay on the Path

Kids are going to be excited, but don’t let them run wild as soon as you leave the house. Mapping out a trick-or-treating route and sticking to it can prepare your family for the evening. By setting parameters and managing kids’ expectations, Trick-or-Treating will be more enjoyable and go more smoothly

Herd the Horde

Stress the importance of staying together and discourage wandering off or lagging behind. For large groups with multiple families, designate one adult as group leader and another adult for bringing up the rear. This method provides peace of mind and helps make sure no one gets lost.

Light the Way

Wear reflective gear, carry flashlights, and decorate your trick-or-treaters with glow sticks and accessories to make your group more visible. This lessens the risk of accidents and allows adults to keep track of kids.

Sidewalks & 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.

Keep a Steady Pace

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.

Treats 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.