RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While Halloween is the perfect time for frights, one scare you probably want to avoid is your child eating something potentially poisonous. The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and the Virginia Poison Center have some helpful tips to help keep your family safe as you enjoy your Halloween celebrations.

You may already know that while candy, baked goods and other treats are easy to find around Halloween, they should always get a second glance. Inspect any food and candy carefully before eating it or giving it to children. Look for wrappers that are torn, faded or missing altogether, and check fruit or baked foods for puncture marks and foreign items like needles or razor blades. If you’re not sure if something can be trusted, it might be safe just to toss it.

It is also good to exercise caution with other Halloween celebration items.

If you’re using face paint or make up for a costume, make sure to get products labelled as non-toxic and check ingredients for anything that might be harmful if ingested, like talc.

Spooky additions like glow sticks and dry ice can cause skin irritation and even burns, so make sure glow sticks aren’t cracked and that you are not coming too close to dry ice. If glow stick liquid or dry ice comes in contact with skin or eyes, wash or flush with cold water immediately. If it is swallowed, call poison control.

Also make sure to put away medication and pills, as young children might confuse it for candy.

If your child ingests something potentially harmful, call the Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 right away. When you call, a specially trained nurse will ask you some questions, so be prepared to give:

  • Your name and phone number
  • The age and weight of the child
  • What was ingested (it’s helpful to have the bottle or container handy)
  • How much was involved
  • How the child is feeling or acting

With your information, the nurse will give you your next steps, which may be starting first aid or going to the emergency room.