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Atrium Health Navicent Urges the Community to Stay Safe this Halloween

Halloween is an exciting night for children as little super heroes, princesses and others race to fill buckets of candy in neighborhoods across the United States. Pediatricians from Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital want to help your children stay safe, and have offered several tips to keep the holiday full of treats — and no tricks — this year.

“Halloween can be lots of fun, especially if you keep safety in mind,” said Dr. Christy Peterson, an Atrium Health Navicent pediatrician. “Take care to choose costumes that are visible at night, flame-resistant and that fit appropriately to avoid trips and falls. Obey traffic signals and use crosswalks. No one wants the fun to end early due to a preventable injury.”

Pediatricians offer common-sense advice for Halloween:

• Supervise young children for trick-or-treating.

• Never enter a home or car to get a treat.

• If teens plan to go out on their own, review their route in advance and agree on a specific time to return home.

• Cross streets at the corners, looking both ways before crossing. Obey traffic signals and remain within crosswalks.

• Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective stickers, lights or glow sticks. Have children carry flashlights.

• Make sure costumes fit appropriately to avoid trips and falls. Look for “flame-resistant” on labels for costumes, wigs and accessories.

• Consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives to masks. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of your child's skin to ensure there are no unpleasant surprises or allergic reactions on the big day.

• Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.

• Inspect all treats before consuming them to ensure wrappers are sealed and have not been tampered with. Do not accept homemade treats.

• Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys from Halloween bags.

• To have the best experience, very young children should stick to their bedtime routine as much as possible, even if that means trick-or-treating earlier and ending earlier. Also be prepared to shift to an alternate plan if your child loses interest. They might enjoy handing out candy to big kids from home just as much or more!

• If a young child is still wearing diapers or is potty training, it’s a good idea to choose an easy-off costume and pack a back-up costume.

• Make sure any seasonal movies or games are age-appropriate to avoid unnecessary nightmares and anxiety in younger children.

• Teens and tweens may experience peer pressure to play pranks or misbehave during Halloween. Consider reviewing your expectations of behavior — and any consequences for breaking rules — prior to the holiday.

• Those handing out treats can also consider giving out non-edible items, which are especially handy for children with food allergies. Suggestions include glow sticks, spider rings, pencils, bubbles, bookmarks, stickers and other small seasonal items.

Because COVID-19 is still circulating in our community, pediatricians suggest following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control about how to protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19.

Pediatricians recommend the following tips to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses this Halloween:

• Stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, and flu shots.

• Stay home if you have a fever or have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

• Consider moving indoor activities outside, where there is more fresh air.

• Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before handling treats.

“We’ve seen an uptick in respiratory illnesses, including the flu, already this year. Be sure to practice good hand hygiene before touching your face or eating, and after touching doorbells and handrails,” Peterson said.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org