Every year as children dress up as their favorite superhero, monster or princess and parade around neighborhoods with their pail of goodies in haul while trick-or-treating, there is also the chance of injury due to a number of accidents.
“There are plenty of approaches that parents should take to ensure that their children are safe during trick-or-treating,” said Dan Davis, Public Relations Business Partner with Renown Medical Center. “One tip would be that the kids not be sent out on an empty stomach. It’s important for them to get a full meal to kind of discourage them from delving into their bag of candy.
"Another thing to consider is alternative to candy. Maybe limit the number of treats that the children can eat. Also, parents can provide an alternative like a fruit roll-up, trail mix, yogurt, chocolate covered raisins, crackers or toys. Those are all things that kids wouldn’t mind getting in replace of candy.”
An additional tip that Davis had for parents of younsters preparing for Halloween night was to make sure that the child gets good rest, specifically emphasizing that smaller children get a nap before heading out.
While rest and a full stomach were some precautions Davis mentioned, another focused on the actual costumes children will be scaring people with.
“Some other things to be aware of is falls, which are the leading cause of injury during Halloween for children,” he said. “Just make sure that costumes are appropriate. Things like making sure the costume is not too long, the makeup is safe for children to wear, if they are wearing a mask it doesn’t impede their vision. Of course, sometimes traffic can be scarier than most of the costumes, so just be alert when crossing the streets.”
If the children going out are a bit older and the parents are staying home to pass out candy, Davis said there still ways that the adults can make sure the kids are safe, such as placing reflectors on the costumes, giving them flashlights and telling them to use only crosswalks to cross the street.
Once the night of trick-or-treating is over, Davis said the parental duties are still not finished.
“The candy should be inspected before you turn it over to your child to consume. Just be alert of what is there,” Davis said. “If it looks like any of the wrappers or any of the candy has been tampered with, I’d acknowledge that and get rid of it. It’s tough. There are a lot of weird people that like to do weird things out there, so just be extra cautious.”
There are a handful of safe Halloween events taking place in Sparks that give parents a substitute to the race between houses.
On Sunday, Oct. 28 from 1-2 p.m. the Spanish Springs Library will invite children and families to bring their scooped out pumpkins for pumpkin carving with experts to prepare their jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.
Spanish Springs High School will hold its 11th annual ‘Trick-or-Treat in the Halls’ on Tuesday, October 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be over 30 spooky doors with free candy. Admission is $2 or two cans of goods per child. Along with the games, there will also be games for the kids, with tickets costing $0.25.
Halloween night the Legends at Sparks Marina will hold a safe trick-or-treat event from 5-7 p.m. Kids are invited to wear their costumes for candy and take part in face painting and bounce houses.
Additional safety tips from local law-enforcement agencies
•Watch for open flames from jack-o-lanterns and candles. Costumes and hair wigs may be flammable. Be sure to check the labels and buy flame resistant articles.
•Parents, be aware of loose costumes, bulky trick or treat bags, unsafe shoes, masks which reduce vision, sharp or pointed toy weapons, dark colored, hard to see costumes.
•Because they are excited, children become careless and may run into the road. Dusk is the time of poorest visibility for drivers.
•If going out on their own, know what route they will be taking and where to find them quickly if necessary. Know who their companions are and what supervision they will have. It is important to know what they are planning for the night. Set a reasonable time to return home. Make sure they know not to go into any homes.