While Halloween is typically one of the highlights of a child’s year, it can be less fun for parents, who fret about everything from buying or making the right costume to the safety of the goodies in the trick or treat bag.
With that in mind, the American Association of Poison Control Centers offers a few tips aimed at making this time of the year a little less frightening for parents:
• Put trick-or-treaters in brightly colored costumes made of flame-resistant materials. Add some reflective tape on trick or treat bags to make sure your child is visible after it gets dark.
• If your child uses makeup rather than a mask, keep an eye out for possible skin irritation, including a rash or itching. If your child develops a rash, remove the makeup immediately and wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
• Carry a flashlight after the sun goes down, and make sure excited trick-or-treaters don’t inadvertently wander in the way of passing cars.
• Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Send an adult with young children.
• Avoid barking dogs or other upset animals.
• Inspect all treats before the kids eat them. Eat only treats in original and unopened wrappers. If wrappers are faded, have holes, tears or signs of rewrapping, throw them away. Throw away all unwrapped candy or treats.
• Check fruits and homemade goodies for foreign objects that may have been inserted or injected, including pins, metal needles or razor blades. Cut fruit into several sections to check for foreign objects.
• Look out for Rover’s well-being, too. Some treats, such as chocolate, can be poisonous for pets.
• Be wary of dry ice. While dry ice is a great special effect for a party, keep small pieces of it out of individual drink glasses. Dry ice can cause frostbite if it comes in contact with the skin or mouth.
• Keep candle-lit Jack-o-Lanterns off doorsteps and out of the way of foot traffic. Fire hazards could be a danger to trick-or-treaters dealing with long or cumbersome costumes.
For questions about poisons on Halloween and any other day of the year, call your local poison control center at (800) 222-1222.