Halloween is a big deal in our house.  Every year, we dress up as a family.  We’ve done superheroes, musicals, books, and current events.  Our 14-year-old is still willing to participate, and I’ll keep going as long as she does.  We also host an annual pumpkin carving contest.  It’s fun to watch the party change as the kids grow.  The designs are now very intricate, and they can handle the cutting on their own.  If you’re planning to carve pumpkins with your family, here are a few tips from the AAP to keep them safe.

  • Never allow small children to carve pumpkins. Use paint, stickers, or markers.
  • For the best control while carving, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand recommends adults use small pumpkin saws. They recommend against using larger knives which can become lodged in the pumpkin and cause injuries.
  • Consider using a flashlight, battery-powered candle, or glowstick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin.
  • If you use a candle, votives are the safest.
  • Do not place candlelit pumpkins on any path where visitors may pass close by and never leave them unattended.

Source:  American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright 2019)

Costumes are another source of fun and excitement.  My office has chosen a Toy Story theme this year and I’ve decided to be Bo Peep.   I considered Barbie, but the thought of walking around the office in high heels sounded very uncomfortable.  When choosing a costume for children, comfort and safety should be the first priorities and the AAP has a few suggestions about costumes, too.

  • Costumes should be bright and reflective for greater visibility.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes and costumes that are short enough to prevent tripping.
  • Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks.
  • Do not wear anything that may obstruct vision.
  • Avoid any sharp or long swards, canes, or sticks as an accessory. Children may be injured if they stumble or trip and they may injure fellow trick or treaters.
  • NEVER use decorative contact lenses without an eye exam and a prescription.

Source:  American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright 2019)

By following a few simple rules, we can have fun without being “scared” of Halloween!