Halloween is here again, which means everyone is entitled to one good scare. But the combination of ramped-up revelers and unconscientious drivers can create a witch’s brew of parental worry. And with good reason. Pedestrian injuries are, by far, the most common on Halloween night, with children twice as likely to be struck and killed by a car, on average. If you would like to avoid any unnecessary injuries, read on for Halloween safety tips for kids.
Add to that the often touted, but relatively rare, tampered treats, and the incorporation of open flames and carving knives into the festivities, and moms and dads are left with perceived horrors that far outweigh vampires and werewolves.
Halloween should be a happy time, though, for children and their parents, alike. And with the proper precautions, it can be. Consider the following 10 Halloween safety tips for kids this season. And visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website for more spook-tacular suggestions.
The Great Pumpkin
- When carving Jack O’Lanterns, keep knives far away from children. Only parents should do the carving. Kids can participate by creating potential designs with paper and magic marker.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy surface, far from curtains and other flammable objects, and out of the path of trick or treaters.
What Shall I Be?
- Consider adding reflective tape to children’s costumes and trick or treat bags, or carry glow sticks for prime visibility. Shoes should be comfortable and appropriate for the trek ahead, and costumes short enough to prevent trips and falls.
- Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Non-toxic makeup and/or decorative hats are a popular alternative. Hats should fit properly, without sliding over a child’s eyes. Makeup should be tested on a child’s hand prior to being applied to the face.
- Only purchase costumes that are marked as flame resistant.
Trick or Treat!
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their quest for candy. Distribute flashlights with fresh batteries to everyone trick or treating.
- Older children should travel with a group, and review a preplanned route with their parents. A specific time should be set for everyone to return home.
- Children should only visit homes that keep a porch light on, and never enter a home or car for a treat.
- Remain on well-lit streets and use sidewalks whenever possible. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys.
- Never assume the right of way. Even if one car stops, others might not.
In addition to these Halloween safety tips for kids, parents and homeowners should consider the following suggestions on the night of Oct. 31, to ensure a safe and sound holiday for their neighbors.
- Clear any wet leaves from driveways, porches, and steps, and remove trip-hazards, such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and decorations from your porch, driveway, and lawn. Also check outdoor lights for burned-out bulbs.
- Household pets should be kept indoors until trick or treating is over. This rules out any unfortunate interactions, altogether, benefiting animals and trick or treaters, alike.
- Notify law enforcement authorities immediately regarding any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- After everyone has returned home, sort and check treats. Closely examine all candy and food items, and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped, or otherwise suspicious items.
And remember – when trips, falls, and scrapes occur, KinderMender provides a scare-free environment for little patients. We are open on Oct. 31 and every day throughout the year.