By Carol A. Cates, MSN, MBA, RN

Chief Nursing Officer

Odessa Regional Medical Center

Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but it’s up there. Especially when my kids were small and now that my grandkids are small. The costumes and trick-or-treating are always such fun. But with that will fun does come some risk. That is why it will be so important to always add safety into your Halloween plans. The U. S. Food plus Drug Association (FDA) and several other child safety organizations have several tips for keeping your family safe as they enjoy their Halloween fun.

When choosing a costume, make sure it is flame resistant. If you are making the costume, choose flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Choose bright, reflective outfits or include strops of reflective tape to be more visible. Make sure costumes aren’t tripping hazards. If you choose a mask, make sure it’s not one that obscures vision. Hats plus makeup are generally safer alternatives in order to masks.

Make sure you test make-up 24-48 hours in advance by putting a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing. If a rash, redness, swelling, or any other signs of irritation happen, that could be a sign of an allergy, and its best to use the different product. When choosing makeup, ensure color additives are usually non-toxic. The particular FDA has a list of colour additives that will have been approved for use in make-ups on their website tinyurl. com/yrsejw6a . Do not use products that have not already been approved, especially around the eyes, nostrils, or mouth. Beware of decorative contact lenses that have not been prescribed and fitted by a good eye care professional. Any other types associated with contacts are illegal in the U. S. because they can cause permanent damage to eyesight, but even with the laws prohibiting use, those contacts can still be purchased on-line or through disreputable sellers. Speaking as someone who lives with a person who offers permanent visual damage due to an injury, your vision is priceless, and not worth winning a Halloween costume contest. In case you really want to wear decorative connections, go to an eye treatment specialist.

When it comes to safe treats, remember to never eat candy or even other treats until they have been inspected by an adult in good lighting at home. The FDA recommends giving kids a snack before they go out, so they are less tempted to nibble on a treat from their Halloween night bag. If your child has food allergies, make sure to check labels on goodies, and be around the look out with regard to houses with teal-colored pumpkins. Teal pumpkins are a sign of houses that give out non-food treats to babies to avoid allergen issues. Do not accept or consume anything that is not commercially wrapped. In case you possess small children, create sure you remove any choking hazards like gum, peanuts, hard candies, or toys from Halloween bags. When inspecting candy look for indications of tampering, for example unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks concerning.

When you haven’t already carved your pumpkin, leave pumpkin carving in order to adults. Kids can trace designs plus scoop out the insides. Even better, avoid carving altogether and use paint to decorate your pumpkin. Avoid live flames inside pumpkins, make use of glowsticks or even battery-operated lights instead.

Plan your decorations so trick-or-treaters coming to your own door are usually safe, and your home stays safe, too. Make sure your outdoor decorations don’t block windows, doors, or security features of your home. Make sure paths are clear and free of stumbling hazards. Ensure lights are cleared regarding indoor versus outdoor use and don’t have broken sockets or frayed wires.

Think about your pets with Halloween party safety as well. Keep treats out of their reach, as many candies are toxic to house animals. Make sure that pets are kept away from adornments that could be hazardous to them. Costumes can be stressful to some dogs and cats, so watch your pet carefully if they are around costumed people. Keep pets calm as trick-or-treaters come to the door plus make sure they are easily identified within case they get out there.

Finally, pay close attention if you are walking or driving when trick-or-treaters are about. Keep little children close and put your phone away. Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully and slow down, especially in residential areas.

Have enjoyable and be secure, and I hope you have a very Happy Halloween!

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