Most people think of Halloween as a time for fun and treats. However, roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year. Falls are also a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween. Many of these injuries can be prevented if parents closely supervise school-aged children during trick-or-treat activities.
Following are a few tips to help make this holiday as safe as possible: Children should only go to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses. Traveling in small groups, accompanied by an adult, is always a good idea. Every year, many children do get lost, so it is important to have their names and phone numbers attached to their costumes if they are too young to remember. Someone in the group should be carrying a cell in case of an emergency.
Make sure they bring all treats home before eating so parents can inspect them. Although the risk that your child’s Halloween candy has been tampered with is extremely low, there is also the chance that his candy is unwrapped or spoiled. Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
When walking in neighborhoods, they should use flashlights, stay on sidewalks and avoid crossing yards. Wear clothing that is bright, reflective and flame retardant. Try to consider using face paint instead of masks, as they can obstruct a child’s vision. Avoid wearing hats that could slide down over their eyes as well as long, baggy costumes and oversized shoes.
If you are driving with or without trick-or-treaters, proceed slowly and watch for children in the street and on medians. Exit driveways and alleyways carefully and have your kids get out of the cars on the curb side – not on the traffic side. As a parent, supervise any and all children under the age of 12 and establish a curfew for older kids.
Finally, prepare your own home for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns and sidewalks. Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candy or small toys as treats to young children.
HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!