Orlando, Fla. — Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids and to be honest for some of us as well.To help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are some tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) along with some other partners.
Keeping your home safe to prevent accidents
• To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard 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 or snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
• Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
◦ Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
◦ Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
◦ Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
◦ Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
◦ If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
◦ Never cut across yards or use alleys.
◦ Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
◦ Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!
◦ Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
Some precautions with your kids’ costumes
• All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
• If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible
• When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first
• Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation
To prevent your kids from unhealthy eating
• A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
• Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
• Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
• Try to ration treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.
If you are an adult on the road
In 2015, about 6,700 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically consulted injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according to Injury Facts 2017, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council.
NSC research reveals about 17% of these deaths occurred when pedestrians improperly crossed roads or intersections. Lack of visibility because of low lighting or dark clothing accounted for about 15% of the deaths. Other circumstances varied by age: Darting or running into the road accounted for about 15% of deaths in kids ages 5 to 9 and 7% for those 10 to 15.
In the U.S., October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month. NSC data put August first, with 3,642 deaths, followed by October, 3,550, and July, 3,530.
A few precautions you must follow
• Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
• Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
• At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
Besides taking all these precautions you must also review your homeowners policy as well as liability, in case the unexpected happens and you are required to respond for any kind of damages.
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