Halloween is upon us, which means little ghosts and ghouls will be out walking neighborhoods collecting goodies.

Many parents equip their children with gear – reflectors, glow sticks, LED lights, etc. – to make their children visible to traffic.

While this is a great idea, broken glow sticks were one of the most common calls — nearly 300 last year — to the Nebraska Regional Poison Center.

The glow sticks make children more visible in the dark while trick-or- treating, but they are soft to chew on and can be easily broken open. If children get some of the liquid in their mouth or eye, there is no need to run to an emergency room. Call the poison center, and the nurse will tell you what you need to do.

Below are additional helpful safety tips for your trick-or-treaters this year from the Nebraska Regional Poison Center.

• When children trick-or-treat, treats should be carefully checked by adults. Homemade treats or anything out of its original wrapper should be thrown away unless parents are positive of the identity of the person from whom it came.

• Marijuana edibles can resemble traditional candies in their names and packaging. This is another good reason to check all your children’s candy when they get home.

• Providing children with a full meal before trick-or-treating will reduce the temptation for children to eat treats before they return home.

• Costumes should be warm, well-fitting and non-flammable. Masks should allow adequate vision and should be removed while children are crossing streets. Use inexpensive, nontoxic face paint as an alternative to masks. All makeup and fluorescent hair sprays should be removed before going to bed. Consider using reflective tape on costumes worn after dark.

• Make sure children are accompanied by an adult and take a flashlight along if it is dark. All children should stay in their own neighborhood and only go in homes of friends and family. Older kids who are going trick-or-treating with friends should stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.

• Give out non-edible treats such as stickers, pencils, erasers or other party favors.

• Sponsor a block party as an alternative to wide-range trick-or-treating. Parties at home can substitute for, or at least shorten, trick-or-treat trips.

• Serving punch containing dry ice is not considered dangerous as long as the ice is not swallowed in its solid form. Small pieces should not be put in individual glasses. Frostbite can occur if dry ice touches the skin or mouth.

• Chocolate is very poisonous to dogs. Store all candy out of reach of dogs. While trick-or-treating, stay away from barking dogs or upset animals.

In addition, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services also has some tips for parents and caregivers on how to keep kids safe on Halloween:

• Walk, don’t run. Cross the street only at a crosswalk or corner, after looking both ways, and never dart out into the street.

• Drivers can do their part by being especially careful in residential neighborhoods. Slow down and look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

• Children who are already sick should not go trick-or-treating on Halloween to avoid spreading colds or viruses to other children.

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