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Stay Safe this Halloween

Halloween SafetyHalloween is such a popular American tradition, that one must be wary Ė not of hobgoblins and ghosts, but of ill Ė intentioned people who want to take advantage of the holiday, or simple accidents that can hurt your much loved child.

Here are some tips to keep your children safe while trick or treating:

1. Masks. Those huge, monster masks are fun but can your child see through the eyeholes? Check carefully. If you think it will help, enlarge the eyeholes and let your child practice walking around the house to make sure he can navigate safely wherever he goes.

2. Face painting. If you think a mask is not safe for your childís free movement, try face painting. Another choice is hats -- just make sure that it fits properly and doesnít fall over your childís eyes when he or she walks around.

3. Swords and wands. Long accessories light up a childís imagination. The addition of a stick, staff, wand or sword is fun, but make sure that the length is appropriate. If itís too long your child can accidentally hurt himself or others.

4. Shoes. Huge clown shoes or hobo shoes make a statement, but can your child walk safely in them without tripping over his pants or falling over uneven ground? A test walk might be a good idea before allowing your child to wear hobo shoes.

5. Costume lengths. Itís always lovely to see dresses that drag beautifully on the ground. It makes a little girl feel like a princess or a bride. But when she is walking from door to door itís not be practical, especially if she runs. To avoid tripping, make the hemlines just right your little girl feel like a princess but can run like a deer Ė safely.

6. Glow. As the evenings get shorter the darkness provides great atmosphere for trick or treaters Ė but it can also be a safety hazard. To help you identify your child in the dark, add reflective tape to the costume or incorporate glow sticks. There are also great flashlights with Halloween themes. Kids will love playing with them.

7. Eat before you treat. You want to avoid having your children eat while they are trick or treating. To do this, give them a filling meal before they go out.

8. Check their stash. Once your kids are home, donít let them eat their candy unless you have checked all of it first. If anything looks unwrapped, exceeds its expiration date or seems suspicious, throw it away. Better safe than sorry.

For more safety tips on Halloween, visit these links: Center for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Food and Drug Administration U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Novelty Makeup U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Decorative Contact Lenses American Academy of Pediatricians