The Emergency Department staff at UCSD Medical Center and the California Poison Control System are offering the following safety tips to help parents and guardians make Halloween safe:
- Let children draw a face on pumpkins, but adults should do the carving.
- Keep an eye on Jack-O-Lanterns with burning candles inside. Make sure they are placed where they can't start a fire.
- Feed children before they go trick-or-treating.
- Look at all treats carefully to detect signs of tampering. Throw away unwrapped candy not in the original wrapper or candy that shows signs of rewrapping.
- Parents with children of different ages should sort the candies to make sure that younger children don't get a hold of small hard candies, peanuts or other objects that may get lodged in a youngster's throat.
- Remember that some treats, like chocolate, can be poisonous to pets.
- Look for costumes that are flame resistant.
- Choose costumes with light or bright colors, which can be seen by drivers.
- Make sure face paints, glues and glitters are made of non-toxic materials.
- If your child wears a mask, make sure it does not impair the child's vision or breathing.
- Use reflective tape on costumes and trick-or-treating bags so they are visible.
- Never let a child trick-or-treat alone. Adults should accompany young children in familiar neighborhoods, visiting known areas.
- Carry a flashlight after dusk.
- Make walkways and lawns safe by removing obstacles and leaving outside lights on.
- Stay away from barking dogs or other upset animals.