By Joshua Mojica
One of the most exciting holidays for kids (and some adults) is Halloween. Soon, homes will become disguised as creepy haunted houses and local neighborhoods will be bustling with children dressed in costumes. While Halloween is a fun holiday for which people can dress up as their alter ego, superhero, idol, monster or whatever they choose, it’s also considered one of the most dangerous holidays for kids. A number of dangers that children face when trick or treating include car accidents, poisoning, costume difficulties and allergic reactions to costume makeup. Here are a few ways to stay safe while trick or treating.
According to the National Safety Council, October ranks number two in motor vehicle deaths by month. To prevent your child from getting into a car accident, it is best to accompany your child while they are trick or treating. Children can get excited and may rush onto the street. Parents can remind their child to look both ways before crossing the street. Holding hands while crossing the street is also recommended. If your children are older and want to go trick or treating by themselves, make sure they know how to safely cross a street without you.
To prevent poisoning, check the candy that your children have collected before letting them eat it. If a candy is not sealed completely, there is a possibility the candy has been tampered. Dispose of the candy immediately.
Costumes can also be hazardous to your child’s safety. Children can trip on long costumes or costumes that do not fit them well. Make sure your children can move around in their costume without difficulty before letting them out. This will prevent them from tripping and injuring themselves. Children should also wear comfortable walking shoes. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure that the eye holes are large enough so that their vision will not be obscured.
Costume makeup, more specifically face paint, can also be harmful. Face paints produced in China may contain heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cobalt and chromium which are dangerous to children. Lead especially poses a great danger. The Mayo Clinic reports Tiro, an eye cosmetic from Nigeria, has been linked to lead poisoning. If ingested, lead travels from the stomach to the bloodstream and into the brain, the effects of which are not always seen immediately. Some symptoms of lead poisoning in children are vomiting, constipation, seizures and abdominal pain. When buying costume makeup, make sure you read the ingredients and double check to see if any of those ingredients are harmful.
After taking these precautions, your child should be safe to go trick or treating. Halloween can be a fun holiday, but do not sacrifice safety for fun.