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Tricks & tips from BC Children’s for Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital doctors have some advice to help keep little monsters and goblins safe as they tear around their neighbourhoods.
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​Halloween is a busy time for many families and BC Children’s Emergency Department physician Dr. Ran Goldman has some tips to help keep mini-mummies from coming undone.

“We do see more pedestrian injuries around Halloween,” he says. “Fall is typically the season with the most of these types of injuries, but there are a few pointers parents can consider to make the night safer for everyone, and still have fun."
Be street-smart
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of their vehicle.
  • If you have to walk on a road without a sidewalk, walk facing traffic so drivers can see you.
  • Encourage all crossings to happen at crosswalks or street corners. Don't dodge between vehicles.
  • Tell children to make sure to look left and right, and left again. 
  • Drive slow, don’t drink and drive, and don’t drive high.
Be seen
  • Stick reflective tape to costumes, coats and treat bags.
  • Incorporate lights in the costume or have children hold a flashlight. Don’t forget extra batteries.
  • The brighter the costume, the better.
  • Light the path for trick-or-treaters (& clear slippery leaves off stairs).
Prevention measures
  • Clean hands frequently: Wash your hands before and after going trick-or-treating. Keep hand sanitizer with you on the go. 
  • If you’re feeling sick or self-isolating, turn off your porch light and stay home.  
Create a hazard-free costume
  • Opt for face paint vs. costume masks, which can limit a child’s ability to see clearly. Use non-toxic face paint or makeup.
  • Wearing a cloth mask in most indoor public spaces is a personal choice, but don’t have your child wear a cloth mask under a costume mask because it may make it difficult for them to breathe.  Keep in mind, masks are still required in some situations, like visiting health-care facilities. 
  • Some parents incorporate a cloth mask in the costume
  • Keep wigs and hats secured away from a child’s eyes.
  • Make sure all dresses and capes are above the ankle to prevent tripping.
  • Give kids well-fitting shoes or boots to avoid falls.
Eat healthy before trick-or-treating
  • Provide a healthy meal before children fill up on candy.
  • Check candy and throw out anything that isn’t wrapped.
  • Be aware of choking hazards for young children like gum, nuts, hard candies, and small toys.
Advice for young and older kids
  • Hold the hands of younger kids, who may be unsteady on slippery stairs or uneven sidewalks.
  • If older kids are on their own, they should stick to a planned route and meet up times so caregivers know when and where to find them.
Think about fire safety
  • Use battery candles in pumpkins.
  • Choose fire resistant costumes.
  • Skip fireworks - they commonly cause burns to the hands and face. 
Other helpful resources:
BC Children's Hospital; BC Childrens; BC Children's; Halloween; Safety; trick or treat
Children's Health
SOURCE: Tricks & tips from BC Children’s for Halloween ( )
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