Halloween Safety Tips

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to children’s safety.

On average, the number of pedestrian-related fatalities among children is doubled on Halloween compared to any other night of the year, according to Safe Kids.

"This Halloween falls on a Saturday, which will result in children staying out later and offer more opportunity for injury,” says Luly Beckles, pediatric injury prevention coordinator at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “It’s important for parents to be aware of possible dangers that can arise from costumes, cars and open flames. Parents can also educate themselves on how to maintain a happy medium for children despite the candy temptation that surrounds this holiday."

For a trick-free night, Beckles offers these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

On the trick-or-treat trail

  • Select costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility by others driving through the neighborhood. Make sure children and their escorts have a flashlight with fresh batteries. 
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase only those with labels clearly indicating they are flame resistant. Masks can limit or block eyesight; consider non-toxic makeup as a safer alternative. 
  • Make sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flames.
  • If a sword, cane or stick is a part of a child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if they stumble or trip.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
  • Keep candle-lit pumpkins and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables and keep them out of the reach of small children and pets.
  • Speaking of pets, keep them safely restrained so they do not jump on or bite a trick-or-treater. 

Healthy Halloween options

  • Prior to trick-or-treating, serve a healthy meal so children aren’t as hungry when their candy collection starts piling up.
  • Know how much candy your child has collected and avoid storage in his/her bedroom. 
  • Let children eat only factory-wrapped treats. Examine all goodies for choking hazards or any signs of tampering before giving your child free reign of the look.
  • Provide healthy options for trick-or-treaters such as small boxes of raisins or sugar-free candy and offer non-food treats such as stickers, bubbles or small games. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables and cheeses.

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Last Updated: 10-19-2016
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