Magazine article USA TODAY

Precautions for Trick-or-Treating

Magazine article USA TODAY

Precautions for Trick-or-Treating

Article excerpt

Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays for children because they can dress up in elaborate costumes and act out of character. However, as the sun goes down and trick-or-treaters start roaming the streets of your neighborhood, there are several things to worry about as a parent or guardian. Potentially hazardous costumes or accessories, tainted candy, and crossing the street at night without supervision are a few of the concerns that should be addressed prior to a child leaving the house.

While falls are the leading cause of injuries, children ages five to 14 are four times more likely to be killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other nights of the year.

Beverly Losman, with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Safe Kids of Georgia, offers these tips to parents to make this a safer Halloween:

* Avoid costumes with excessive flowing fabric, such as capes or sleeves. Loose clothing easily can brush up against a jack-o-lantern or other open flame, causing it to catch fire.

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* Make sure costumes fit properly. Oversized costumes and footwear, such as clown or adult shoes, can cause children to trip and fall, bringing them home with more scrapes and bruises than candy. Avoid wearing hats that will slide over the eyes.

* Accessorize with flexible props, such as rubber swords or knives. Inflexible ones can cause serious injury in case of a fall.

* Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the skin, and make sure it is nontoxic and hypoallergenic. …

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