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AAP: 5 Halloween Safety Tips

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Pumpkins, parties, sweets galore: It's no wonder kids go bonkers—and accidents happen—on October 31. You know to keep 'em away from jack-o'-lanterns and any other lit candles (right? just checking), but you've also got to be smart on the street. “Because of the high volume of kids out on Halloween, more are hit by cars than at other times of the year,” says Kyran Quinlan, M.D., chair-elect of the AAP's council on injury, violence, and poison prevention. Another less obvious modern-day nemesis: button batteries. They're in musical greeting cards, invitations, and blinking costume parts. If swallowed, they can get stuck in the throat and burn the tissue. Here's how to suit up and troll for treats safely:

Sheathe the Saber

The safest accessories are short and soft. Try to talk him into leaving unwieldy swords and pitchforks at home.

Tailor-made

Hem the costume if it's dragging to prevent tripping (use packing tape or iron-on Stitch Witchery).

Walk This Way

Clown shoes and plastic heels are never easy to walk in—especially in the dark. Go for sneaks or flats.

Watch Out

A mask should have eyeholes wide enough for your kid to see well (cut bigger openings if necessary). Better yet, opt for face paint instead.

Be Bright

Add reflective tape on the back, arms, and legs of dark costumes so he's more visible to drivers.More tricks to keep your little pumpkin safe on Halloween:

Instead of: Buttons, rhinestones and strings on costumes can be choking hazards.  Try: A snug hat gets her into character safely and keeps her warm.

Instead of: Carving pumpkins with sharp knives isn't exactly baby-friendly.  Try: Give baby finger paints to make a jack-o-masterpiece.

Instead of: Halloween candy is a no-no for tots. (More for mama!)  Try: Surprise him with a sweet, inedible treat like a fun light-up toy.

Instead of: A bulky costume may be too hot, not to mention a tight fit in a car seat.  Try: Halloween-theme PJs take him from trick-or-treating to dreamland.

Instead of: A candle-lit jack-o-lantern may be tempting for little fingers.  Try: Use a glow stick or a flashlight for a safer spooky glow.

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