LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Goblins, ghouls and ghosts aren't the only dangers children face on Halloween. The holiday and all its trappings can increase the risk of injury. Here are some ideas from the Kosair Children's Hospital Office of Child Advocacy . Safe Kids Coordinator at Kosair Children's Hospital, Erika Janes, R.N., explains the best ways to keep this Halloween safe and injury-free.
Falls are the leading cause of injury on Halloween. The fact that children wear costumes and walk in the dark in unfamiliar neighborhoods increases the risk of a fall. Here are some precautions you can take to prevent falls:
-Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face. It is safer than loose-fitting masks that can obstruct a child's vision. If a mask is worn, cut the eyeholes large enough to allow full vision and be certain the mask fits securely.
-Give trick-or-treaters flashlights so they can see and be seen more clearly.
-Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping over them and secure hats so they will not slip over the child's eyes.
-Dress children in shoes that fit. Mom's heels or dad's work boots are not safe.
-Do not allow children to carry knives, swords or other props unless they are soft and flexible. Anything they carry could hurt them if they fall.
-Warn children not to cut across yards where they can trip over lawn ornaments or run into clotheslines that are invisible in the dark. Tell them to stick to sidewalks.
Costumed kids walking through dimly lit streets are difficult for drivers to see. You can help make your kids more visible by following these safety tips:
-Decorate costumes, bags and sacks with reflective tape.
-Use Halloween costumes that are light or bright enough to make them visible at dusk.
-Remind children to stop at all corners, driveways and alleys.
-If you drive children on trick-or-treat rounds, be sure they exit and enter the car on the curbside, away from traffic.
-Motorists, including parents and baby sitters who are chauffeuring kids around the neighborhood, should also take extra safety precautions.
-Slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals.
-Watch for children walking in the street or on medians and curbs.
-Be prepared for children to dart out into the street at any time, especially from between parked cars.
-Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
-Make sure your headlights are clean and working so you can see and be seen.
Burns and fires are the second leading cause of preventable injury to children. By taking a few extra precautions, you can reduce your child's risk.
-Look for "flame resistant" labels on costumes, masks, beards and wigs.
-Use fire resistant materials for all homemade costumes.
-Flimsy material and outfits with baggy sleeves or billowing skirts are more likely to come into contact with an exposed flame, such as a candle.
Other Safety Tips
-Parents or other responsible adults who will keep children in sight at all times should accompany young children.
-Have children restrict their trick-or-treat calls to homes with outside lights on.
-Tell children to bring all treats home before eating them. Parents should check treats to ensure they have not been tampered with and that they are safely sealed. Be especially careful with fruit - cut it open before allowing a child to eat it.
For information about safety or medical issues for kids, call Kosair Children's Hospital at 502-629-6000 or CLICK HERE.
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