The American Academy of Pediatrics has these tips for parents this year:
"All Dressed Up..."
• Because they can obstruct a child's vision, masks are not recommended. If a child wears makeup, parents should look for non-toxic, hypoallergenic kits.
• Costumes should be flame-retardant and fit properly. Avoid oversized shoes, high heels and long skirts or pants that could cause a child to fall.
• Children who will be trick-or-treating after dusk should have reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights.
"Carving a Niche..."
• Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers, and then parents can do the cutting. Under parents' supervision, children ages 5 to 10 can carve with pumpkin cutters equipped with safety bars.
• Votive candles are safest for candlelit pumpkins.
• Lighted pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects and should never be left unattended.
• Children shouldn't snack while they're trick-or-treating. Parents should check treats at home.
• Watch for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.
• Parents of young children should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
"Home Safe Home..."
• To keep their home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
• Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
• Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
• Remember that Halloween is for children of all ages... so get involved with your little ghost or goblin!
If you would like more information, you can also check out the Center for Disease Control’s web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/od/ohs/vitamin/1026.htm