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Fall is a wonderful time of year with cooler temperatures, leaves changing color and preparations for upcoming holidays. One of those holidays is celebrated this month: Halloween. Although not truly a holiday, it still happens to be one of my favorite times of the year that brings the excitement of costume parties, decorations and obviously trick-or-treating.
Unfortunately, Halloween can also be a very dangerous time for children, as it is the one day of the year when children are most likely to be hit by a car. In 2017, October was the second highest month for motor vehicle deaths. So as we take our sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters out trick-or-treating, let’s remember some important safety tips to ensure a safe and happy evening for everyone:
• Please be sure all costumes are fire resistant
• Avoid masks as they can obstruct the vision of your child
• If they are out after dark, use reflective tape on the costumes or have them carry glow sticks
• If using makeup, make sure it is non-toxic, and remove all makeup before they go to bed
• Accompany your young children as they go on their rounds
• Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car
• Have them stay in well-lit areas
• Arrange for them to travel in groups
• Do not eat any treats until they are home and can be inspected
• Children and adults both need to put away electronic devices, watch for traffic, and walk, don’t run
If you plan to be on the road Halloween evening, please remember to watch for children who may be on the edge of roads or crossing the road. Be sure to enter and exit any driveway slowly. As you make turns, be sure the road is clear of any pedestrians.
Halloween is meant to be a night of fun when you and your kids can dress up in a costume and have people guessing who you are.
As you prepare this year, please take the time to review these safety tips with your children. Everyone will then be able to fully enjoy this great evening.
Ron Stahl, M.D., is the chief medical officer at Wilson Medical Center.