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Palmetto Parent

Have a Spooky and Safe Halloween: Halloween Safety Tips

Oct 31, 2017 11:39AM ● By Lori Coon

by Alexa Bigwarfe

Ready for some Halloween trivia? Do you know who produces the most pumpkins in the United States? The top six pumpkin-producing states are Illinois, California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, in 2011, those six states harvested $113 million dollars' worth of pumpkins. As of 2010, California had the most amount of establishments manufacturing non-chocolate candies, with 49 of them (U.S. Census Bureau).

Halloween can be a really fun and enjoyable evening but not all Halloween facts are fun. The harsh reality is this: on Halloween, children are two- four times more likely to be hit and killed by a car than any other day. That's a scary fact. (Pun not intentional.) There is potential for injury through Halloween activities.

Follow these tips to ensure everyone has a safe Halloween.

Trick-or-Treating Safety
- Children under twelve should not be out alone. They should be supervised by an adult, and if at all possible, traveling in a group. Older children should plan a route with their parents and have an established return time.
- Walk on sidewalks or other paths and make sure to check before crossing any streets.
- Only visit homes with the porch light on.
- Ensure your children are carrying glow sticks or flashlights so that drivers can see them better.

A note to drivers: most children trick or treat between 5:30 and 9:30, so slow down and be vigilant if driving during those hours.

Costume Safety
- Select a costume that fits well. If their costume is too big, there's a good chance they will trip and fall.
- Pick out flame resistant costumes and do not walk too closely to lit candles.
- Use reflective tape on their costumes and bags.
- Avoid masks that can obscure their vision.
- Test out make up first to make sure your child does not have a sensitivity.
- Don't use over the counter decorative contact lenses.

Pumpkin Carving Safety:
- Allow the kids to draw on the pumpkins, but never cut them. Young children should not handle knives.
- Make sure pumpkins with candles are placed far from anything that they may catch on fire.
- Keep matches or lighters stored safely out of reach.
- Candles in a votive is the safest route, but consider glow sticks rather than a lit flame.

Stranger Danger: Remind your children:
- Never accept rides from strangers.
- Do not enter a stranger's house.
- Stay in familiar areas.
- Do not accept treats or candy that are not factory wrapped.

Food Safety
- If you're going to parties, don't forget common food safety. Don't leave food out that needs to be refrigerated.
- Feed your child a meal prior to parties to help them avoid over eating candy and other foods that may lead to stomach pains.
- Have an adult sort through all of the candy once the children are home and throw out any candies that are unwrapped.
- If hosting parties, provide some fun, yet healthy treats.
- Finally, ration that candy over the next thirty days.

Have a fantastic, spooky, and safe Halloween!

Alexa Bigwarfe is the mother of three little ghouls. They very much enjoy darting into the street and eating too much candy on Halloween.

Photo: Copyright: falara">'>falara / 123RF Stock Photo