Fall is in the air and Halloween is here.
Many people view Halloween as a time for fun and treats. However, in the United States, roughly two times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year. Falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on this holiday. Parents can help prevent children from becoming injured on Halloween by following these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Safety Council.
- 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 numbers and carry a cell phone for an emergency phone call.
- Carry a note in their pocket with their name and address.
- Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
- When using costume knives and swords, ensure they are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
When walking in neighborhoods, they should:
- Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks if available, and avoid crossing yards.
- Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks if available, and don’t 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.
- Avoid wearing hats that could slide over their eyes.
- Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.
- Always 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 for older children.
- Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing decorations 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 before children eat it.
To ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters, parents and adults should:
- 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 curbside, not the traffic side.
- Consider taking advantage of community events where the kids can show off their costumes and trick-or-treat in one central place without the need to navigate city and neighborhood streets.
Following these tips should help ensure this Halloween is a safe and fun holiday for everyone.