Paging Dr. Wu: What You Need To Know this Halloween
As a mom, Halloween is one of the most amazing times of year: the children look forward to it with such excitement, and it’s a really fun holiday to relive through their eyes. But, there are also a ton of things to worry about, from meltdowns over the costume to, most seriously, injuries from Halloween-related activities. I’ve asked pediatrician Dr. Wu of LaGuardia Place Pediatrics to tell us what she wishes all parents would keep in mind this October 31.
In my office, 10/31 is the day that we know we can come in and get some extra work done. Our littlest clients are usually busy that day, and our office is quite empty, especially in the after-school period. The main thing we do see on Halloween is injuries.
So here are a few Halloween safety tips!
- Make sure the costume is safe! Make sure the ghost costume isn’t so long that your child will trip on it. Make sure the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mask allows your child to see well. Make sure that the costume is age appropriate! For example, even some 0-3 months costumes may still be too big for your 3-month old, in that it can inadvertently smother him. Also check that the costume doesn’t prevent you from buckling your child into a stroller or car seat – better take an extra 5 (or 25!) minutes getting your child in the costume after he comes out of the car than compromise car safety.
- Be careful of the mob phenomenon. When you mix children, the anonymity of costumes, and candy, energy inevitably runs high and children get competitive – especially at a house that gives out the best candy. Let the big kids go first. They will probably pick out the best candy, but know your child will have her day when she is in the fifth grade.
- Act as the crossing guard at intersections. Have the smallest ones hold your hand while crossing. For the older kids who travel in groups, ensure that the cars have stopped before allowing them to cross. Children have tunnel vision on Halloween – they can only see the house with the bright jack-o-lantern, even if it is across that busy highway.
- Regarding candy: this is the one day a year I allow my own son to go wild and eat candy for dinner (with vegetables as dessert). After all, childhood only happens once! Of course, make sure the candy your child received looks fine: individually packaged, well known brands. A good rule is if you wouldn’t eat it because the candy in question looks suspect, you probably shouldn’t let your child eat it.
- Have fun!! It’s a great day to be a kid again.