Halloween is a fun time for kids. To be safe as they hit the streets for trick-or-treating, here are tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region and the Illinois Poison Center.
All dressed up
Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
Because masks can limit eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.
When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.
If a sword, cane or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long.
Have flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
Review with children how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.
Home safe home
To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything that a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs so trick-or-treaters can see where they are going.
Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite trick-or-treaters.
Handle dry ice with gloves and don't put into drinks. Do not use in non-ventilated areas. If you experience skin burn from dry ice, call the poison control center at 800-222-1222.
On the trick-or-treat trail
A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Carry a cellphone.
If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route. Agree on a time when they should return home.
Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat. Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. Cross the street as a group in established crosswalks and don't cross between parked cars.
Remind children not to chew on glow sticks or other glow-in-the-dark products. If glow stick substance comes into contact with the skin or mouth, wash off immediately. If it gets into the eye, call 800-222-1222.
A parent should check treats before kids eat them.