Halloween season can be a very fun time of the year for Northland families, with a wide variety of things to do across the area. However, safety needs to be priority throughout the season and especially while trick-or-treating on the big day.

It's great that for the first time since 2019, COVID-19 isn’t expected to significantly alter trick-or-treating this year, but medical experts caution warn there are still spooky considerations to keep in mind when celebrating Halloween.

On Thursday, Essentia Health in Duluth shared recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics that will help keep families safe.

“Halloween can be really fun, but it’s not without its hazards,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, an Essentia pediatrician. “ Following the tips above can help ensure you and your family have a spooktacular good time.”

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According to their news release, here are several important things to keep in mind:

  • Accompany young children on their pursuit of treats. If older children are going out on their own, discuss and know the route, agree on a specific time they should return home and equip everyone with flashlights or glow sticks.
  • Only go to well-lit homes and stay on well-lit sidewalks to avoid pedestrian injuries — the most common injury to children on Halloween.
  • Never enter a home or car for a treat. Notify law enforcement immediately about any suspicious activity.
  • Youngsters should stay in a group and have a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Cross streets only at crosswalks, corners or other designated areas.
  • Wear costumes that fit appropriately (to avoid tripping) and are bright and reflective, especially if your plans include being outside after dark. Reflective tape is a great way to enhance visibility.
  • Avoid sharp or long swords, canes or sticks as costume accessories.
  • Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks; toxic ingredients have been found in cosmetics marketed to teens and tweens.
  • Wait until you’re home to eat any treats so that you can properly sort and inspect them. Adults should closely examine all treats and throw away spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items. Be mindful of babies and toddlers, who shouldn’t have hard candies or any other items that could be a hazard.
  • Before digging into their goodies, children should thoroughly wash their hands.

Essentia Health adds that even if you won’t be out trick-or-treating, be mindful that others will be and exercise caution. Drive slowly in neighborhoods, keep an eye out for excited children, make sure your headlights are on and avoid distractions.

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