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Keep kids safe on Halloween

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POSTED: October 11, 2010 9:46 a.m.
Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays for children because they can dress up in costumes and act out of character. However, as the sun goes down and trick-or-treaters start roaming the streets of your neighborhood, there are several things to worry about as a parent or guardian. Potentially hazardous costumes or accessories, tainted candy and crossing the street at night without supervision are only a few concerns that should be addressed prior to a child leaving the house.
 Children ages 5-14 are four times more likely to be killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year. Falls are the leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween. Halloween is a fun time for children, but it also is an important time to be extra vigilant for possible safety hazards — so that your children have a fun and safe Halloween.
 Beverly Losman, with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Safe Kids Georgia offers these tips to parents who want to make this a safe Halloween:
• Avoid costumes with excessive flowing fabric, such as capes or sleeves. Loose clothing can easily brush up against a jack-o-lantern or other open flame, causing your child’s costume to catch on fire.
• Make sure your child’s costume fits properly. Oversized costumes and footwear, such as clown or adult shoes, can cause your child to trip and fall.
• Accessorize with flexible props, such  as rubber swords or knives. Inflexible props can cause serious injury in case of a fall.
• Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face, and make sure it is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. A loose-fitting mask can obstruct a child’s vision. If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely. Cut the eyeholes large enough for full vision.
• Choose a brightly colored costume that drivers can spot easily.
• Always supervise children under the age of 13. Older children should trick-or-treat in a group, and a curfew should be established for them. Attach the name, address and phone number of children under age 13 to their clothes in case they get separated from adults.
• Children should only go to well-lit houses and remain on the porch within street view. Teach your child to cross the street only at crosswalks or intersections.
• Remind your child not to eat any treats before you have a chance to examine them thoroughly for holes and punctures. Throw away all treats that are homemade or unwrapped.
 

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