Safe and Spooktacular Halloween

Two costumed kids are looking at a plate of cookies.Halloween, formerly known as All Hallows Eve, has evolved over time into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, festivals, fairs, sweet treats and dressing up. October 31 is an exciting day for kids and families, but there are a few safety tips to keep in mind to help keep the ghostly good times going.

The Perfect Pumpkin

A good jack-o-lantern is the perfect accessory to any Halloween decorations. Creating a scary face can be a fun family project, however, children should never use a knife. Have kids scoop out the slimy guts of the pumpkin and separate the seeds to use as a fun snack. Bake the pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and sugar for something sweet, or just salt for a savory option. For kids who like a little more independence, pick smaller pumpkins and have the kids paint designs on them. Look for glow-in-the-dark paint to help give their faces the final touch.

Creative Costumes

Encourage your children to be anything they want for the big day, but make sure their costumes are also safe. Costumes should be easy to see in the dark. If they’re wearing a mask, make sure they can easily see out of it and breathe easily. An alternative to a mask is face paint. Try the paint on a less sensitive area to make sure your child doesn’t have a reaction. Additionally, you should remove any face paint once they’ve finished trick or treating. If you notice your child is having a reaction to the paint or makeup, try a low-dose topical hydrocortisone cream on the affected area for a day or two. A minor, but persistent reaction can be treated at an urgent care center. If they experience any lip swelling or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

Going Through the Goody Bag

Plastic cauldrons, pumpkin-shaped buckets or even pillowcases have served as goody bags for years. The bigger the container, the more loot there is. But there are a few safety tips when it comes to chowing down on this season’s stash. Make sure to inspect your child’s candy before they dive into it. When inspecting the candy, remove anything that isn’t wrapped. Also, treats could pose a choking hazard so look for anything small that could get stuck in their throat. Consider feeding your children before they go out, which may help them stay full. Set a limit of candy for the following days, one to two pieces to avoid excess calories and sugar.

Safe Tricks and Treats

Cruising around to find the best neighborhoods with the best candy is a great Halloween pastime. Children should always go trick or treating in large groups with parental supervision. Consider alternatives to knocking on neighbor’s doors that could include school, church or community trick-or-treats or fall festivals. If you prefer to give out something a little less sweet this year at your house, consider stickers, fun-shaped erasers, and snack-size bags of popcorn or fruit snacks.