HOUSTON (October 30, 2015)

Each year Halloween provides an opportunity for families to get together, get creative with costumes, get outside and, most importantly, have fun. Not stepping on cracks or walking under ladders may just be innocent superstitions, but ensuring a safe weekend for your kids is so simple, it’s scary! All parents need to do is remember these spook-free safety tips, courtesy of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital:

  • Costumes. Make sure the length of your child’s costume won’t cause them to potentially trip or fall. Also, be careful of masks that could obscure your child’s vision. If the costume has any accessories such as swords or wands, make sure they are soft or flexible in order to avoid injuries.
  • Walking Safety. While trick-or-treating, make sure to always cross the street at corners or crosswalks and walk on sidewalks or paths whenever possible. If you must walk in the street, stay near the edge of the road and face oncoming traffic. If you are driving, be sure to slow down and stay alert in residential areas. Children are typically excited on Halloween and can move quickly and unpredictably.
  • Darkness. Keep a flashlight with you while trick-or-treating in case you enter a dark area. Placing reflective tape on costumes or bags can make it easier for drivers to see you in the dark.
  • Carving. If carving pumpkins, the adult should always be the one to handle the knife; children can mark on the pumpkin in advance with a marker. Pumpkins lit with candles should be placed on sturdy surfaces, away from curtains or other flammable objects.
  • Candy. Parents should always inspect the candy their child receives and remove any potential choking hazards. Throw away any candy that is unwrapped or looks as if it has been tampered with.

“In addition, parents need to be aware of any allergies their child may have,” said Dr. Robert Lapus, UTHealth emergency medicine physician affiliated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “Many candies contain peanuts, which is one of the most common food allergies. Candy packages are clearly labeled to help your child avoid any allergic reactions.”

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital asks the community to please remember these safety tips this weekend and wishes Houston a safe and fun Halloween!