Keep children safe during Halloween festivities this year


Vampires, witches, Spider-man and fairies are sure to show their faces as another Halloween approaches. To keep this year's Halloween celebration festive, Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) reminds parents to make sure their children are safe while trick-or-treating.

CHP+ is the state's low-cost health and dental insurance program for uninsured Colorado children ages 18 and under whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. CHP+ also offers benefits to pregnant women through the CHP+ Prenatal Care Program. CHP+ pays for many health care services for children including well-child check ups and physicals, immunizations, medications, sick care, vision care, dental care and doctor visits -- CHP+ even covers those hard-to-treat vampire bites.

According to the National Safety Council, both children and adults need to focus their attention on safety every Halloween. With a little extra thought and planning, families can make sure that all children have fun and safe outings and festivities on Halloween. Below are a few tips for families from the National Safety Council.

Before children start out on their trick-or-treat routes, parents should make sure that:

Children eat an early meal before going out.

An adult will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.

Children travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

Children know to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit and never to enter a stranger's home.

Each child has a cell phone or change for a phone call in case they have a problem.

A return time has been established.

Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children's companions.

Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules with children.

Youngsters understand not to eat any treat until a trusted adult has inspected it.

CHP+ also reminds families to limit the number of treats children are allowed to eat. Too many sweets can lead to a tummy ache and cavities.

"At CHP+, our goal is to keep Colorado's little ghosts and goblins healthy and safe through out the year -- including Halloween," said Bill Heller, director of Child Health Plan Plus. "Part of being safe is having health insurance for your family. For working families with limited resources throughout Colorado, CHP+ is a low cost solution - keeping Colorado children and pregnant women healthy. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind current CHP+ members to renew their benefits every year."

For more information, in English and Spanish, about CHP+ eligibility or to get an application, visit the CHP+ Web site at To speak with someone in English or Spanish, call toll free at 1-800-359-1991. Families can now download the CHP+ application from the Web site and mail it in. For additional information regarding CHP+ marketing, education and training opportunities, please call (303) 830-3558.

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