Walsh Consultant

Trusted Health Consultant

Make it all treats, no tricks | Health Beat

Make it all treats, no tricks | Health Beat

Children should use sidewalks and crosswalks when out trick-or-treating. Flashlights and glow sticks are also recommended for activities at dusk. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat.

Some kids will be Ariel, some will be Elsa.

Some will be Skywalker, others will be Batman.

No matter how your children and their friends decide to gear up for this year’s Halloween activities, you’ll want to keep in mind a few important safety tips.

Children are more than twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to Lindsey Jelsma, manager of the trauma and injury prevention program at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“Teach your kids to keep their phones in their pockets while crossing the street and to look both ways at every intersection,” Jelsma stressed. “Look left, look right, and even left again when crossing mid intersection. … Carry a flashlight and be prepared and aware.”

Teach your children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them, she said. It will make everyone more aware of the situation at hand.

Here are some additional tips for safe trick-or-treating:

Costume planning

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective.
  • Accessories such as swords, canes or sticks are fun. Just make sure they’re not sharp enough to cause injury or long enough to trip someone.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit well.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • As masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup when possible.

Pumpkin carving

  • Encourage young children to draw on the pumpkin, then have parents do the carving.
  • Never leave lit pumpkins unattended.
  • Votive candles are safest for candle-lit pumpkins.
  • Use knives that are less sharp. Some are made specifically for pumpkin carving.

Be safe, be seen

Kids who are out trick-or-treating should wear reflective tape and use glow sticks or carry a flashlight. This will help ensure they can see where they’re going, as well as helping drivers see them.

Walk safely:

  • Cross at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Look left, right and left again.
  • Use sidewalks.
  • Watch for cars turning or backing up.

Drive safely:

  • Watch for kids crossing mid-block.
  • Slow down and be especially alert.
  • Keep phones down so you are not distracted.