Halloween is a fun family tradition, but every year there are serious injuries during this week, resulting in trips to the emergency room, and sometimes costly treatment and long-term consequences. Please review this CARE checklist before heading out to Trick or Treat.
CARE stands for Costumes, Accessories, Reflective Surfaces and Examine.
Costumes: Make sure your child can move around safely in his or her costume. We recommend face paint instead of masks, which are often implicated in falls and scrapes. Have your child try on the costume well before Halloween (avoid last minute purchases) and make necessary alterations to make the costume more user-friendly. It’s better to cut the bottom of a costume so that legs move freely than to risk a trip or fall. Try to purchase costumes that are made with flame retardant material. If you think your kid’s movement is impaired and you can’t alter the costume, please hold their hand the entire evening and take extra care as they ascend and descend steps.
Accessories: For little children, fewer accessories are better. It’s enough for them to walk around, holding their treat bag and stay together with the group. When they are holding that light saber or Toto in a basket, it means that their hands are not free and if they do trip or fall, they can’t use their hands to steady themselves or break their fall. If you must accessorize, make sure everything is attached securely (like crowns and butterfly wings). Swords and light sabers should be flexible and should not have pointy ends.
Reflective surfaces: Lots of costumes are dark, like vampires and witches and wizards. But being able to be visible is important for safety. So be sure the kids are wearing something reflective (we love the light up sneakers), or just attach some reflective tape or bike reflector lights on their backs or on their coats as well as on their treat bag. Be sure you travel with flashlights (you can use the one on your phone, as long as you have enough juice on your phone to last through the night). Parents should wear light colored clothing, so at least they will be highly visible.
Examine the Treats Before Eating Them: Please tell the kids not to eat from the treat bag until you have gotten back home. Consider packing a few treats from home for them to eat during the walk so they won’t be tempted. For the most part, the treats are going to be just fine, but do examine everything and make sure nothing is opened. Certainly for kids with allergies, their parents or guardians need to check to be sure it’s safe to eat what has been gathered.
Finally, we implore you: Don’t send your kids out alone. Even teens and tweens should have parents nearby to be sure they are safe.