As children across the state spend the following weeks preparing costumes, gobbling goodies and deciding whether to play tricks or get treats, state health officials remind them to incorporate safety into their Halloween activities.
“Halloween is a fun holiday for children, and we want to keep it that way” said Department of Health Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise. “We are issuing some basic guidelines all parents should follow to make sure their children have an enjoyable, safe holiday.”
Some tips to follow for safe trick or treating include:
Make sure the costume is short and well-fitted. Baggy, loose clothing can trip children and poses a greater risk if the child is exposed to fire. It also is important to avoid wearing oversized shoes (i.e. clown shoes), as those also can lead to dangerous falls. Make sure the eyeholes in a child’s mask are big enough so that he or she can see oncoming traffic and other pedestrians in the way.
Make sure costume props are flexible. Do not allow children to use props such as swords, knives or guns unless these items are made of rubber or plastic.
Wear bright colors so that oncoming drivers can easily see the child in the dark. Glow-in-the dark stickers also can be added to dark costumes to make them more visible.
Do not let children younger than 13 trick or treat without an adult. If older children are going out alone, make sure they are using a buddy system.
Make sure children practice proper safety rules when crossing streets. They must look both ways before stepping into the street and should not step between parked cars.
Do not allow your children to eat their trick-or-treat candy until you have examined it.
For more safety tips, please contact your local injury prevention coordinator, listed below.
Injury Prevention Coordinators
Region 1 (New Orleans)
Region 2 (Baton Rouge)
Region 3 (Thibodaux)
Region 4 (Lafayette)
Region 5 (Lake Charles)
Region 6 (Alexandria)
Region 7 (Shreveport)
Region 8 (Monroe)
Region 9 (Mandeville)