Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) today offered tips for
parents to enjoy Halloween festivities while helping to keep children
healthy and safe. Many communities will be celebrating over the next few
days. Some communities hold trick-or-treating during the daylight hours,
while others do so during the evening. Fatality records from across the
country from the past 21 years show that Halloween is the deadliest day of
the year for child pedestrian accidents, so it is very important to talk to
children and parents about how to stay safe.
“Trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition for Halloween but we
wouldn’t want anyone’s fun to be spoiled,” said Dr. José Montero, DHHS
Public Health Director. “Parents should take a few extra minutes to make
sure their little ones will be safe this holiday.”
In order to protect children’s health, DHHS offers the following health
tips to parents regarding treats:
Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. They
should wait until they get home and parents have had a chance to
inspect the goodies. Give children a snack or light meal before they
go–don't send them out on an empty stomach.
Tell children not to accept, and especially not to eat, anything that
isn’t commercially wrapped.
When children bring their treats home, discard any home-made candy or
baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking
hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as
an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in
wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make
sure it is pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful
bacteria. Juice or cider that has not been treated or pasteurized
will say so on the label.
Additionally, DHHS offers the following safety tips for Halloween:
Children should see and be seen in their costumes. Halloween is the
deadliest day of the year for child pedestrian accidents. The
twilight hours between 6:00-7:00 PM are particularly dangerous.
Purchase or make costumes that are lightly colored and bright enough
to be clearly visible to motorists.
For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim
costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s
headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated
with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in
hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
To easily see and be seen, parents or children should also carry
Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and
Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. High heels are not
good for safe walking.
Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from
slipping over children’s eyes.
Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a
loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision.
If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has
eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the
words “flame resistant” on the label. Although this label does not
mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate that they will
resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the
ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or
other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials
and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and
When using makeup, follow all directions carefully.
Don’t decorate your face with things that aren’t intended for your
Like soap, some things are OK on your skin, but not in your eyes.
Some face paint or other makeup may say on the label that it is not
for use near the eyes. Believe this, even if the label has a picture
of people wearing it near their eyes. Be careful to avoid getting
makeup in your eyes.
Even products intended for use near your eyes can sometimes irritate
your skin if you use too much.
Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a
prescription from an eye care professional. Obtaining decorative
contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal.
These can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and
infections, which may lead to permanent problems.
If you’re decorating your skin with something you’ve never used
before, you might try a dab of it on your arm for a couple of days to
check for an allergic reaction BEFORE you put it on your face. This
is an especially smart thing to do if you tend to have allergies.
Teach children how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
website at http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/.