We’ve reached that part of the year where time seems to move even faster than normal. Once we get to Halloween, it’s just 25 days until Thanksgiving and then 54 days until Christmas. Thankfully this year it seems like the holidays will be a bit more normal than last year at least as long as everyone continues to be careful. Many kids did not get to have a normal Halloween last year, so they are likely very excited to celebrate this year, but we want to make sure they do so safely. Healthychildren.org is a great resource for many children’s health related issues and this time of year they always publish a thoughtful guide for Halloween health and safety tips. Here are some curated highlights, but feel free to click here to see the guide in its entirety:
- When choosing a costume, pick one that is bright and reflective or consider adding reflective tape if you will be trick-or-treating in neighborhoods in the dark
- Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats and do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.
- While trick or treating, incorporate a mask into the costume for COVID safety and always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds to help them maintain their distance
- Give your child a good meal before parties or trick-or-treating so they are less likely to fill up on Halloween treats
- If you will have trick or treaters visiting, remove tripping hazards to keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters. Keep the porch and front yard clear of anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.
- Consider offering non-edible goodies to trick-or-treaters visiting your home. Halloween is one of the trickiest days of the year for children with food allergies. Food Allergy Research & Education’s Teal Pumpkin Project, which promotes safe trick-or-treating options for food-allergic children, suggests items such as glow sticks, spider rings, vampire fangs, pencils, bubbles, bouncy balls, finger puppets, whistles, bookmarks, stickers and stencils.
- Once your child gets home with their candy, try to ration treats for the days and weeks following halloween or consider starting a tradition such as the “switch witch”
Jacqueline Phillips, MD, October 19, 2021