Ready for some trick-or-treating? Halloween is a holiday with its own special magic but it can also create some potentially scary situations for all the little costumed princesses, ninjas, Jokers and Captain Marvels out there.
“At Halloween, we see everything from burns to cuts to kids falling but the big thing is that we have an increase in pedestrian injuries. So many kids are hit by cars on Halloween night,’’ says Tracey Fejt, trauma outreach coordinator who works with Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center on pediatric safety issues. Fejt’s name is pronounced “fate’’.
Banner Health safety experts offer advice on how to keep your little costumed wonders safe while trick-or-treating and eating the goodies that are in their sacks and buckets:
• Scary streets: It’s a double whammy: Halloween is a particularly dangerous night for pedestrian injuries; Phoenix and other major metro areas are increasingly deadly for people who walk along streets. Be extra careful out there.
• Look for the teal: The Teal Pumpkin Project, in which participants place teal-colored pumpkins in front of their home, means they are giving out items that will be safe for trick or treaters with food allergies.
• Just say no: Teach your child to politely turn down home-baked items such as cupcakes and brownies, and never to taste or share another child’s food.
• Costumes: Make sure kids’ costumes can be seen, either through choosing light-colored clothing or using reflective tape or glow sticks. Also make sure that a child can be seen from the back as well.
• Safe walking: Parents should encourage kids not to cut across streets but to use crosswalks instead or at least cross at the street corners.
• Candy check: Have children hold off on devouring their hauls until the candy can be inspected. Adults should be wary of old-looking or odd-looking candy and cast those aside.
• Fun size not always fun: Children need to be careful about food allergies. “Fun size’’ candies may contain allergens since they may be manufactured differently than regular-sized bars.