Soon, pint-sized ghosts and goblins will be out and about, and we’d like to share a few safety tips on how to keep the night safe and trick-free.

Tips for a safe Halloween

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Halloween is a fun experience for the whole family, from the costumes to divvying up the candy stash at the end of the night. Soon, pint-sized ghosts and goblins will be out and about, and Sentara Pediatric Physicians pediatrician Dr. Penny Lane shares a few safety tips on how to keep the night safe and trick-free:

For trick or treaters: 

  • Children under 12 should be supervised by an adult or responsible teen chaperone.
  • Trick or treat in groups of three or more.
  • Plan a route with your child.
  • Stay in a familiar neighborhood and only approach well-lit houses.
  • Review pedestrian rules: Stay on sidewalks, use crosswalks and wait for walk signals when present.

  For costumes:

  • Choose fire-retardant costumes or materials.
  • Make sure that costumes fit properly and do not drag on the ground.
  • Choose light-colored costumes when possible.
  • Accessorize with light-colored goodie bags.
  • Add reflexive tape to costume and goodie bags.
  • Non-toxic hypoallergenic face paints are preferable to masks.
  • Masks may restrict vision.  If using a mask, enlarge the eye cutouts and encourage children to remove mask when crossing streets.
  • Set a time limit and curfew.
  • Make sure that emergency contact info is located on the costume.

  For treats:

  • Check the goodie bag.
  • Toss items that are not sealed or have tears or unusually loose packaging.
  • Make sure that treats are appropriate for the child's age. Remove choking hazards like gum, small toys or hard candy from the bags of younger children.

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