Midlands homeowner ready for Halloween after seeing more than 2,000 trick-or-treaters in 2018

Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 7:02 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -The Elmwood Park neighborhood in Columbia has several homeowners who take pride in providing a safe, and almost theatrical, Halloween experience for the kids of the Midlands. Over the last several years, the area has drawn hundreds of trick-or-treaters each year.

Chuck Archie, whose decorations represent a theme each year – this year, the Mickey Mouse Club, and last year, the Little Mermaid – says safety is just as important as finding the perfect costume or Halloween decorations.

The Palmetto Poison Center offers tips to keep in mind before your night of trick-or-treating. It suggests that children hold off on divulging in their treats until after a parent or guardian has had a chance to fully inspect all of the goodies.

This may seem challenging, but the Palmetto Poison Center is recommending that kids trick-or-treat on a full stomach, so they are not as inclined to snack before their candy is inspected. Parents should be looking to make sure there are no small puncture holes in the candy, also that the treats are unopened.

“Several neighbors of mine will come together and help me go buy Halloween candy, because each house probably purchases somewhere between $150 and $200 worth of Halloween candy. So, we just want to make sure that we know all of the things that we’re giving out, and again, with the streets closed off, they can almost let their kids run rampant through the streets and not feel that they’re going to get hurt,” Archie said.

The Elmwood Park neighborhood blocks off several streets in the area as a way to keep kids safe from cars while trick-or-treating, but for neighborhoods that are not able to do this, the Red Cross is emphasizing how important it is that children can see and be seen in their costumes.

One suggestion is using Halloween makeup, instead of a mask, because masks are sometimes hard to see out of for children. Another suggestion includes adding reflective tape to both the costume and the trick-or-treat bag.

Here are several other safety tips to keep in mind while trick-or-treating:

  • Use non-toxic Halloween makeup.
  • Use flame-resistant costumes.
  • Plan the trick-or-treat route in advance – make sure adults know where their children are going.
  • A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children door-to-door in neighborhoods.
  • Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
  • Only visit homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street.

The Palmetto Poison Center is also warning that there has been an uptick in glow stick ingestion this time of year. Sometimes they break, which is why parents are encouraged to monitor kids closely while in use.

If the contents are swallowed it can cause nausea and burning. Parents should give small amounts of water and watch for coughing.

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