By: Jillian Weissman, MD, Tallahassee Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program.
In order to have a happy, and safe, Halloween, TMH wants to remind you of things to consider before, and during, trick-or-treating!
Do: Have your children wear costumes that are easily visible. Unique costumes, brightly colored costumes and reflective tape are ways to ensure that your child can be easily seen at night.
Do: Use flashlights. Flashlights are very important if children are going to make their rounds in the dark, particularly when crossing roads. Also have a responsible person hold the child's hand while crossing roads. For fun, you can also add in glow sticks to their costumes for added light.
Do: Keep kids warm and dry. The last thing you would want is your child to become ill the day after trick-or-treating. Check the weather before you head out on your Halloween adventure.
Do: Ensure escorts for your young children (<12 years old). Having an adult trick-or-treating with children ensures safety. It is also a great idea to trick-or-treat in groups, for added security. For older teenagers, make sure you know exactly where they're trick-or-treating. Also, set a curfew so you know when they will arrive home.
Do: Make sure that the candy your child eats is wrapped. Go through candy given to children and discard anything that is opened or tampered with. Also, please remove any treats that are too small for children under 3 years old, as they can pose a choking hazard.
Do: Trick-or-treat at a public place that is offering Halloween activities. Check out places like festivals, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and public parks to see if they have a special programs.
Do: Remember that too much candy is unhealthy. Treats should be enjoyed, but not overeaten. Ensure that your child cleans his or her teeth thoroughly to prevent cavities.
Do: Make sure costume masks have large eye holes for children to see through clearly. Masks that are too large can obscure their vision.
Do: Leave the sharp and pointy costume accessories (such as a sword) at home to decrease the possibility of your child accidentally hurting themselves, or others. If you are planning to add accessories to a costume, make sure there are no sharp edges and that it will bend when pushed.
Do: Walk with your child to houses and never allow them to enter a home when trick-or-treating. Family friend's houses are an exception to this rule.
With all of these tips in mind, we want you to remain safe but of course have fun. On behalf of the Tallahassee Memorial family, happy Halloween!
To learn more about Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, please visit TMH.org.