How to have a happy, healthy, safe Halloween

SOUTHERN UTAH – Halloween is all about fun, dressing up, trick-or-treating and indulging in more than one’s fair share of sweets and treats. To ensure enjoyment safe from dangers and with a leaning towards healthy indulgence, we’ve compiled some precautions and suggestions for your consideration including some admonitions from local law enforcement.

Reminders for children

  • Do not trick-or-treat alone
  • Walk in groups with a trusted adult
  • Always make sure to let your family know where you are going and make sure  to be home when you’re supposed to be home
  • Never go into a stranger’s house unless your trusted adult is with you and says it is OK and always make sure your trusted adult knows where you are
  • Be careful when you cross the street, make sure you look both directions and there are no cars coming; if you have a little brother or sister with you take their hand to help them get across the street too
  • Always walk on the sidewalk whenever possible
  • Fasten reflective tape to your costumes and/or candy bags to help drivers see you
  • Avoid masks. Masks can block a child’s full vision from vehicles coming out of driveways and around corners.
  • Avoid costumes with loose clothing. Loose clothing can brush up against a jack-o-lantern or candles and cause costumes to catching on fire; it also can be the cause of children tripping and falling
  • Accessorize with flexible props, such as rubber swords. Inflexible props can cause serious injury during a fall
  • Attach the name, address and phone number of children under age 13 to their costume in case they get separated from adults. Have each child carry a cell phone.
  • Check all treats, or ask your trusted adult to help you check, for choking hazards and tampering before eating them
  • Only trick-or-treat at houses that are well lit
  • Carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp

Health tips for kids and parents

  • Talk to your child about boundaries on how many pieces of candy they should consume on Halloween night; three to five is recommended
  • Provide your child with a nutritious meal that includes fruits and vegetables before they go trick-or-treating and provide them with plenty of water; this will lower their appetite for sweets
  • Remind your child not to eat any treats before you have a chance to examine them thoroughly for holes and punctures; throw away all unwrapped treats
  • Parents of children with food allergies must read every candy label in their child’s Halloween bag to avoid a potentially life-threatening situation
  • Offer to “buy back” candy your child receives in exchange for toys
  •  Set aside time for your child to be active to help burn the extra calories consumed
  • When choosing sweets to give out, select ones with nutritional value such as dark chocolate or candies with nuts
  • Be aware of registered sex offenders in your neighborhoods and steer clear of trick-or-treating at those homes

Safety for drivers on halloween night

  • Get rid of ALL distractions. Most accidents are caused by distractions. Your chance of accidents is drastically lowered by focusing all of your attention on the road
  • Drive more slowly on Halloween and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleyways slowly and more carefully
  • Take extra time to make yourself aware of kids on curbs, at intersections and on medians
  • Remember that children are very enthusiastic for Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways

“We want people to be aware that it’s a busy time and to be diligent and cautious especially around residential areas with children trick-or-treating,” St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said.

Washington City Police Public Information Officer Ed Kantor cautioned safety first on the holiday. In addition to staying in groups, he said trick-or-treaters need to know the people who reside in the homes they go to for treats and parents need to check their children’s candy before allowing them to eat it.

Extra law enforcement will be present to patrol residential areas to ensure children are safe and that drivers are not speeding, Kantor said.

“We encourage drivers to be extra cautious,” Kantor said. “Kids can get excited and dart across the road when trick-or-treating. Motorists need to be careful around the residential areas on Halloween.”

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

 

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