Top tips for safe trick-or-treating
FOR ANTIGO TIMES
Antigo, WI – On average, kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as on any other day, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
So if you’re sending a brave little soldier, colorful clown or swashbuckling pirate out to collect candy, follow these road safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts.
- Add reflective tape to costumes and bags. Light-colored clothing is also best.
- Have everyone carry a flashlight or glow sticks—so they can see where they’re going and drivers can see them.
- Choose costumes that allow your child to see clearly and are short enough to prevent tripping. Face paint or make-up is best. Masks should fit well and have large eyeholes. Hats and scarves should be tied tight enough so they won’t slip over your child’s eyes.
- Put your child in sturdy shoes. High heels may look cute on your little princess, but they aren’t safe for walking.
- Tell your child to walk only on sidewalks or paths, whenever possible. Otherwise, they should always walk facing traffic and as far from the road as possible.
- Encourage your child to trick-or-treat with a group, and have the group stay together—especially when crossing streets.
- Remind your child to look left, right and left again when crossing a street. Teach your child to assume cars cannot see them and to make eye contact with drivers.
- If your child has a cellphone, make sure they know how to call 911. And encourage them to do so if they’re lost or seriously hurt.
Creepy costume lenses might add a spine-tingling thrill to your Halloween costume, but wearing costume contact lenses without a prescription can lead to serious eye infections or permanent vision loss. Although it is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, they are available at costume shops, gas stations, corner shops, and online. Research shows that people who purchase contacts without a prescription face a 16-times greater risk of developing an infection.
Dr. Andrew Snider, Family Practice Physician at the Aspirus Antigo Clinic says, “Halloween is a fun time for kids. Teach them to be safe and make Trick or Treating a family event. Look for items with less sugar such as pretzels and limit candy intake.”
- See an eye care professional to get a prescription for costume contact lenses. Packaging that claims “one size fits all” or “no need to see an eye doctor” is false. Get properly fitted by an ophthalmologist (physicians and surgeons who specialize in medical and surgical eye care) or optometrist (health care professionals who provide primary vision care).
- Never share contacts. Pink eye isn’t a good look, even for a costume. Sharing contacts can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye, which is highly contagious.
The FDA oversees the safety and effectiveness of all contact lenses because they are a medical device, even the ones people wear on Halloween. It’s important that you use only FDA-approved lenses prescribed for your eyes.
Aspirus is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. Its 7,700 employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of people throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and four hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes and a broad network of physicians. Aspirus was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by IBM Watson Health as a Top 15 Health System in its annual study identifying the top-performing health systems in the country. For more information, visit aspirus.org.