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No Tricks – Just Treats!

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital Physician Offers Tips on Halloween Safety

NEW YORK (Aug 8, 2006)

Halloween is approaching, and many parents may wonder if trick-or-treating is safe. Dr. Meridith Sonnett, director of pediatric emergency services at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, suggests that with a few precautions, Halloween can be a happy and safe occasion for all. Dr. Sonnett suggests that trick-or-treating or collecting donations for organizations like UNICEF or the Red Cross be limited to familiar neighborhoods and neighbors. "It's important not to create too much fear in your children when you speak to them about Halloween safety," says Dr. Sonnett. "But it's also essential that they understand that precautions must be taken." The following are 10 tips that every parent should remember:

  • Always go trick-or-treating with your children.
  • Do not let your children eat any candy before they get home and you examine it.
  • Make sure your children throw away any unwrapped foods.
  • Make sure costumes are made of non-flammable material and are short enough so that your children don't trip.
  • If they are wearing masks, make sure the eye holes are the right size and in the right place so that vision is not blocked.
  • If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat by themselves, have them go in groups – even if only on your block or in your building.
  • If your children are trick-or-treating at nighttime, make sure their costumes are bright in color, or have your children wear reflectors.
  • If your children are going on dark streets, have them take a flashlight. If they are going in apartment buildings, accompany them inside.
  • Instruct your children on proper street crossing safety.
  • Do not let your children enter a stranger's home or apartment – have them ask for the treats while waiting outside the door.

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