Halloween night sees two to four times as many child pedestrian deaths than any other night of the year. We want to make sure your little ghosts and goblins are safe and informed and encourage you to speak with them about halloween safety. This blog post will cover some talking points for you and your children to discuss, and also some things parents can do to make sure the kids in their community have an injury free night!
Most of the tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and a couple were thoughts of by Dr. Swenson, Dr. Geneser, and Dr. Diehl. Here is a Swenson Family Dress-up Picture to get us all in the mood!
1) Make sure that your child’s costume isn’t longer than their ankles, or where their pants would normally hit. Doing this will help avoid trips and falls, and will decrease the chance of a jack-o-lantern candle igniting the fabric of their costume.
2) Check to make sure your costumes use flame resistant fabric.
3) Consider drawing or painting on pumpkins instead of carving with a knife – the pumpkins will be less of a fire risk and will last longer! Dr. Geneser’s family made these pumpkins this year:
4) If you do carve your pumpkins, use a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle inside to reduce the risk of fire and burns.
5) Opt for face makeup instead of a mask that can make it difficult to see. Be sure to test the face makeup a few days before halloween to make sure that skin doesn’t react badly, especially if you or your little have sensitive skin.
6) Make sure that your yard is free of sticks, hoses, toys, cords, and other tripping hazards. Check that all of your lightbulbs are working and that your pets are in a secure place. Have a talk about being cautious of other people’s yards, walkways, and porches as well.
7) Establish a meeting place in case anyone gets lost or separated.
8) Put a post it note or business card in your child’s Trick-Or-Treat bag just in case they are separated and need to call you. Also include the Cedar Rapids Police Department Non-Emergency phone number. (Pssst… the number is 319.286.5491)
9) Put a flashlight in your child’s Trick-Or-Treat bucket for dark areas of your neighborhood.
10) If your children are old enough toTrick-Or-Treat by themselves, plan a route with them and review it a few times before they leave. Set a curfew. Stress the importance of staying in a group on well lit streets and sidewalks. (Safe Kids, a non-profit dedicated to preventing protecting kids from unintentional injuries says that children under 12 should NOT Trick-Or-Treat alone)
11) Make sure everyone eats a good meal beforehand! Try one of the delicious and healthy Halloween meals we’ve shared on social media this month: www.facebook.com/crpediatricdentist
12) Have fun and BRUSH YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU GET HOME!