Planning on checking your youngster’s candy after trick or treating this Halloween? Most parents will. But facts indicate that the candy is a lot less likely to represent the real dangers on Halloween night: University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best documented 30 years of investigating allegations of tampered candy, but with yet not a single actual example of it actually happening.
Danger Danger Trick or Treater
That doesn’t mean Halloween is completely safe.
According to Safe Kids, the risk of being killed by a vehicle on Halloween night is doubled for children as opposed the other days of the year. Adults like Halloween, too, and unfortunately some adult festivities include alcohol. Combine lots more pedestrian activity with potential drinking and driving and there’s a recipe for Halloween that should not be tested.
Safeguard Your Trick or Treaters
Visibility is the easiest way to mitigate the risk of vehicular accidents on Halloween. Reflective stickers, light-up costumes, headlamps, flashlights, even glow sticks—all increase visibility while still seeming “cool” for kids to carry.
If you are buying a ready-made costume in a store, you’ll definitely want to look for a label that ensures it is fire-retardant. A long, flowing unfamiliar piece of clothing that catches fire could prove difficult for a child to get out of, especially if they are panicked.
Visibility goes both ways, so avoid masks that might reduce a child’s peripheral vision. Make sure your child can move their neck freely so that they can look not only both ways, but forwards and back—critical on Halloween as they watch for cars crossing into the street.
More Safety Tips
- Avoid trips and falls by making sure Halloween costumes are the right size.
- If you are driving, avoid all alcohol, and slow down—especially in residential neighborhoods. Excited children may well run out in front of you
- Be extra careful at intersections, driveways, and alleys.
- Turn your headlights on earlier than you might normally on Halloween—you’ll see more, and those on the streets will see you more easily, too.
- Don’t drive distracted; the cellphone can wait. This is true on any day, but especially so on Halloween.
- Encourage your children to travel in groups for better visibility.
- And if you have young children, the best safety tip of all is making sure that any child under 12 isn’t alone at night without adult supervision.
- If you’re staying home and handing out the candy, make sure your walkway isn’t cluttered with decorations so that kids can easily make their way to your door.
- Jack O’Lanterns are of course traditionally lit with a candle, but a Halloween costume could easily be ignited by real fire. Much better to use a battery-powered candle, and if you use one with a timer you can set it to automatically light inside your carved pumpkin each night leading up to October 31st.
Halloween is a lot of fun for kids, and adults too. Just keep safety in mind to safeguard the wellness of your loved ones, and to make sure you aren’t involved in anything that can turn Halloween into a real nightmare.
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