Halloween is a time for fun and adventure for children, but experts at the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) warn parents to use caution and to keep safety in mind. Follow these safety and prevention tips from the IPC for safe trick or treating:
Candy and Treats:
• Remind children to only eat treats that are in their original, unopened wrappers.
• Inspect all treats for choking hazards.
• Keep alcohol away from children. Make sure opened containers, unfinished beverages and all other items containing alcohol are out of reach.
• Handle dry ice properly. Oral/skin exposure or ingestion of dry ice can cause significant damage.
• Make sure to wear protective clothing such as appropriate gloves when handling dry ice.
• Do not place dry ice directly in punch bowl or drinking cups; direct contact with dry ice may cause burns.
• Skin burns from dry ice should be handled in the same manner as skin burns from heat. If blisters start to appear, you should contact your doctor.
• Dry ice should be stored in an insulated container; do not store it in the freezer or in an unventilated room or area.
Costumes and Accessories:
• Remind children not to chew on or break open glow sticks or any other glow in the dark products.
• Make certain masks fit properly and have large eyeholes so the trick-or-treaters can see and breathe easily. Raise mask when crossing the street.
• Purchase non-toxic face paint or makeup for a safe, creative alternative to masks. Be sure to use cosmetics on the skin, and do not substitute other products, which may contain emollient laxatives, talc or hydrocarbons, which can be toxic. Home food colorings are not recommended because the tint may be difficult to wash off.
• Test makeup on a small area of skin first (preferably the arm) to check for sensitivity to any ingredients before applying it to the face.
• Remove makeup before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation.
• Avoid the eye area when applying makeup to the face.
• Avoid decorating the face or body with products that aren’t intended for the skin.
• Throw out any makeup that has a very bad smell; this could be a sign of contamination.