Fitness Facts: Halloween health and safety tips
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
Halloween is right around the corner. It can be a fun time for children, families and adults attending parties, but following a few simple tips can make it safe and healthy, too:
- Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant, and never walk near lit candles or luminaries.
- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups.
- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
- Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.
- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don’t run from house to house.
- Always test makeup in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
- Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
- Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
- Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
- Wear masks, costumes and shoes that fit properly to avoid blocked vision, trips and falls.
- Double-check any costumes with masks to make sure kids can see clearly.
- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
- Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
- Avoid dark houses.
If you are expecting trick-or-treaters or having party guests, here are a few more tips:
- Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
- Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
- Keep candle-lit jack o’ lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
- Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
Staying safe attending Halloween parties for adults:
- For the safety of yourself and others, don’t wear a costume that includes anything that could be confused with a real weapon. Don’t wear anything that could be taken as impersonating a police officer, and don’t wear anything too risqué. Remember, the goal of your costume isn’t to make it scary-short or scary-revealing … just scary.
- Always keep your eye on your drinks. Never let anyone else hold onto your beverage or make you one without watching them very closely.
- Don’t walk alone at night; travel in a group at all times and never travel with someone you don’t know.
- If you live in an apartment or house, know who is staying at your place if you’re having guests over. Try to get to know your roommates’ guests, too.
- If you find yourself at a party where you don’t know a lot of people or the crowd seems sketchy, grab your friends and get out. Call it a night or go to a party with more of your friends and people you know.
- Always carry your cellphone on you.