Most children think of Halloween as a time to dress up and eat candy, but four times the average of 5-12 year olds are injured on this goulish night. The majority of these injuries are not caused by poisoned apples but by falls and car accidents due to badly lit conditions. With some careful planning, most accidents can be avoided for a safe and fun night. The tips below, from the American Academy of Pediatrics can be a good way to keep Halloween mishaps at bay.
- Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
- Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult.
- Know their phone number and carry coins for emergency telephone calls.
- Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
- 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.
- Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
- Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
- Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
- Consider using face paint instead of masks. (Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.)
- Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
- Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
- Be reminded to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
Parents and adults should–
- Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
- Establish a curfew (a return time) for older children.
- Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.
- Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
- Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it. Do not allow children to accept unwrapped candy.
Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters–
- Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
- Drive slowly.
- Watch for children in the street and on medians.
- Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
- Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side
Please use the following sites as additional resources to keep your children safe.