Be safe while trick-or-treating this Halloween

Published 5:45 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween is fast approaching and we should remember to not only focus on the naughty and nice costumes, or eating yummy treats and candies, but health as well. The Alabama Department of Public Health joins the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recommending these Halloween health and safety tips this fall. As the number of injuries and chronic illness rise in children, the CDC suggests we use this time as an opportunity to provide nutritious snacks, get physical activity, and focus on safety.

Going trick-or-treating?

– Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

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– Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

– Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

– Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

– Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.

– Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.

– Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible. – – Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

– Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

– Wear well-fitting masks, costumes and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

– Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook well.

– Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Otherwise, stay outside.

– Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

– Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters, such as individual packs of raisins, trail mix or pretzels. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables and cheeses.

– Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for children to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.

– Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.

– Keep candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.