Happy Halloween! Tonight is one of those nights where all of your best parenting skills are put to the test. Hyped-up kids, strangers, scary houses, dark streets, trouble and fun all wrapped up in one crazy night. At Family Practice Specialists, we consider Halloween to be one of those nights where anything is possible. Are we superstitious when it comes to Halloween? Nope, just cautious only because we have seen some ill effects of candy mixed with excited kids. So, let’s take a moment to make sure you’ve reviewed some of the more important safety tips specifically for Trick-or-Treating in Arizona on this night.
There are literally thousands of safety tips for Halloween, and yet while most of them are redundant or common sense, we at Family Practice Specialists want to point out what we feel are the most important.
1. Flashlights or Glow Sticks – Depending on where in Phoenix you are Trick-or-Treating, the streets can get pretty dark. Flashlights are always a good option, but even some affordable glow sticks on the front and back of your child’s costume can help them stay safe on those dark streets. In fact, our Phoenix doctors would also recommend that you wear a glow stick as well in the instance that your child walks up to a house and loses sight of you. Which brings us to my next tip…
2. Stay Close – As your child walks up to each house, don’t take this as an opportunity to walk to the next house, take a parenting break, or wander your eyes around the neighborhood. Keep you eyes on your kids, just as if you were at a swim party, and remain in the same spot when the kids walk up to the house as when the kids walk back to you. Our Phoenix doctors have seen many cases where children are so excited as they move from one house to the next that they tend to run without looking, often times into the street.
3. Fire Hazards – This year in Phoenix, temperatures will actually be chilly enough for many neighbors to have the fire pits raging along the sidewalks and drive ways. While this really helps to set the Fall scene, it can be dangerous for kids and parents alike. Most Halloween costumes are not flame resistant. In fact, most Halloween costumes and accessories are extremely flammable. Please be careful around these open flames, bbq’s included.
4. Candles – Candles in Jack ‘O Lanterns do not pose a huge risk, except for in these instances. Many Jack ‘O Lanterns are made today by cutting a hole in the bottom for the candle. While this is a very effective way to light the pumpkin, it can also be dangerous when placed on grass or a dry yard surface. Just be mindful of where you place your pumpkins when lit.
5. Driving and Drivers – Halloween is a big night for not only car accidents, but pedestrian accidents as well. In the dark it can be extremely difficult to notice a black, shrouded costume, so both as a pedestrian and as a driver, please be careful on the streets! Kids can dart out from seemingly no where, and as the driver it’s your responsibility to be extra cautious on Halloween night.
And finally, the candy tip, though not as much of an issue anymore. There was a time when every piece of candy had to be inspected. Today, the threat of something inside of your candy is slim to none, but it’s still important for parents to inspect candy for any choking hazards to little ones. It is also important for parents to limit how much candy a child eats on Halloween night, especially this Halloween night as most kids will be back to school on Friday morning.
At Family Practice Specialists, we consider this to be the greatest time of year – when the temperatures finally cool off, sweaters and hot chocolate begin to appear, and kids can play outside without the threat of heat stroke. Stay safe this Halloween, and have fun!