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Brenner Children’s Hospital and the American Academy of Pediatrics Offer safety tips for Halloween

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids. To ensure children have a safe holiday, Brenner Children’s Hospital and the American Academy of Pediatrics offer the following safety tips:

• Create a costume from fire-retardant material. If you are going to purchase a costume, buy one that is flame-resistant.
• Make sure the costume is short enough so that children don't trip.
• Use face paint and hats rather than masks. Loose-fitting masks with small eyeholes can obstruct a child's vision. Secure hats tightly so they don't slip over your child's eyes.
• Children who will be trick-or-treating after dusk should have reflective tape on their costumes and carry flashlights with fresh batteries. Make sure swords and other props are flexible.
• Dress children in comfortable shoes that fit. Adult-size shoes can cause blistering or make a child trip and fall.
• Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Parents can do the cutting. Under parents' supervision, children ages 5 to 10 can carve with pumpkin cutters equipped with safety bars. Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
• Lighted pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.
• Serve kids a healthy dinner (with foods they like) before trick-or-treating, so they won't fill up on candy.
• Offer trick-or-treaters something other than candy. Give them colorful pencils, stickers, large erasers or decorative shoelaces.
• Set a number of days that candy can remain in the house before it gets thrown out.
• Children shouldn't snack while they're trick-or-treating. Parents should check treats at home.
• Watch for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.
• Parents of young children should get rid of choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
• To keep their home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
• Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
• Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
• Remember that Halloween is for children of all ages, so get involved with your little ghost or goblin!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Media Contacts: Rae Bush (336) 716-6878, rbush@wfubmc.edu; or Karen Richardson (336) 716-4453, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu.

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