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Family Halloween Safety Can Be Fiendishly Simple

Limit trick-or-treating to familiar places, don't take candy from strangers, expert says

FRIDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- With Halloween right around the corner, many parents are wondering how they can help keep their kids safe.

According to Meridith Sonnett, director of pediatric emergency services at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, taking a few precautions can help make Halloween a happy and safe occasion for everyone.

She particularly recommends limiting trick-or-treating to familiar neighborhoods and neighbors.

Here are more tips parents should keep in mind for Halloween:

  • Accompany your children when they go trick-or-treating.
  • Examine all candy before letting your children eat it.
  • Have your children discard any unwrapped foods.
  • Make sure your children's costumes are non-flammable and short enough so that they don't trip.
  • Make sure the eye holes in masks are the right size and in the right place for clear vision.
  • If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat without a parent, have them go in groups.
  • At night, make sure your children wear costumes that are bright in color, or have them wear reflectors.
  • If the streets are dark, have your children take a flashlight.
  • Accompany your children in apartment buildings.
  • Have your children use proper street-crossing safety.
  • Do not allow your children to enter a stranger's home; have them ask for treats and wait outside the door.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about Halloween safety.

--Krisha McCoy

SOURCE: New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, news release, Sept. 29, 2008

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