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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: Bonnie Davis, (336) 716-4977, bdavis@wfubmc.edu; or Shannon Koontz (336) 716-2415, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist is ranked 32nd in the nation by America’s Top Doctors for the number of its doctors considered best by their peers. The institution ranks in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and 4th in the Southeastern United States in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.

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