Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children, and for adults! However, the excitement of Halloween shouldn't make us forget about food safety. You should also keep in mind that children with allergies and sensitivities must be especially careful before eating trick-or-treat goodies or certain foods served at Halloween social gatherings. The following advice has been adapted from a number of official online documents. See Sources tab for original articles. Safe CostumesWear costumes made of fire-retardant materials; look for “flame resistant” on the label. If you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Flame Resistant does not mean "fire proof". Avoid costumes with baggy sleeves or flowing skirts to minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources. Costumes made of flimsy materials have been found to burn more quickly when exposed to fire sources.
Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape so you’ll be more visible; make sure the costumes aren’t so long that you’re in danger of tripping.
Wear makeup and hats rather than masks that can obscure your vision.
Test the makeup you plan to use by putting a small amount on your arm a couple of days in advance. If you get a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation where you applied it, that’s a sign you may be allergic to it.
Check FDA’s list of colour additives to see if additives in your makeup are FDA approved. If they aren’t approved for their intended use, don’t use it.
Don’t wear decorative contact lenses unless you have seen an eye care professional and gotten a proper lens fitting and instructions for using the lenses.They are not “one size fits all.” An eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) must measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to contact lens wear. A poor fit can cause serious eye damage, including scratches on the cornea (the top layer of your eyeball), corneal infection (an ulcer on the cornea), conjunctivitis (pink eye), decreased vision, and blindness.
Safe treats:Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected. Tell children not to accept-or eat-anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
Pumpkin Carving and Jack-o-lanterns:Never let children carve pumpkins. Adults carving pumpkins should remember to use specifically designed carving knives, rather than kitchen knives, as they are less likely to get stuck in the thick pumpkin skin. Carve the pumpkin in small, controlled strokes, away from oneself on a strong, sturdy surface.
Carving knives should be used in a clean, dry, well-lit area. Any moisture on the tools, hands, or table can cause the knife to slip, leading to injuries.
Should a pumpkin carver cut a finger or hand, make sure the hand is elevated higher than the heart and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding. If continuous pressure does not slow or stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, an emergency room visit may be necessary. Additionally, it may be wise to follow-up with a hand surgeon to make sure everything is okay and nothing needs repair.
Be considerate of fire hazards when lighting jack-o-lantern candles or use non-flammable light sources, like glow sticks or artificial pumpkin lights. Alternatively, try painting pumpkins for a fun, creative option and removes the risks of carving.
Keep candles, jack-o-lanterns, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach.
Halloween candles with multiple wicks close to one another are hazardous and should not be used. When lit they can produce a single high flame or several large flames close together resulting in intense heat and the danger of igniting nearby materials such as curtains or window sills.
Keep pets inside and away from trick-or-treaters and lit candles, especially if they are easily frightened or become over-excited in the presence of strangers. Trick-or-treating:It is important that children walk on sidewalks and never cut across yards or driveways. They should also obey all traffic signals and remain in designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
Children should walk, not run, from house to house and stay on the sidewalk or at the side of the road facing traffic, cross the road at the corner and look both ways before crossing the road.
Trick-or-treaters should only approach houses that are well lit. Both children and parents should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
Be aware of neighbourhood dogs when trick-or-treating and remember that these pets can impose a threat when you approach their home.
It’s also a good idea to carry a cell phone while trick-or-treating in case of an emergency.
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