Parents and kids are being reminded to think about safety when it comes to "trick or treat" time. Dr. Eric Haugen is a pediatrician at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. He’s urging kids to stay in groups, carry a cell phone, and wear Halloween costumes that include some type of reflective material visible to motorists. In addition, Haugen suggests staying close to home.
"You should always go to homes you know," Haugen says, "don’t go to stranger’s homes." Parents are advised to check all their kid’s treats to make sure they’re sealed and there are no signs of tampering. Haugen says if a child has an allergy to peanuts, all chocolate bars should be thrown away, since that candy is often exposed to peanut dust.
"I would accept homemade treats only from people you know and trust," Haugen says, "any type of person you don’t know very week, I would say don’t accept gifts from anyone like that." Haugen also suggests using nontoxic face paint or makeup – rather than letting your child wear a mask. If they do wear a mask, it should only be worn as the child approaches a home…NOT while trying to cross a street.