Even without the movie marathons and haunted hayrides, Halloween can be a scary time of year for your family. From costume hazards to pedestrian dangers, there are a lot of ways your little trick-or-treaters can step, trip, or fall into harm’s way. However, with the proper precautions, this Halloween can be wicked safe for everyone, from getting dressed to getting home.
Although dressing your child in oversized capes and gowns may look spooky, ill-fitting costumes will increase your child’s chances of fall-related injuries. Choose age-appropriate and properly fit costumes, masks, and shoes to prevent trips, falls, and blocked vision. Follow these costume quick-tips:
- Check costume tags to be sure they are flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
- Make sure costume accessories are short, soft, and flexible.
- Masks may seem like an easy accessory, but they can make it difficult for your child to see. Instead, use non-toxic face paint.
- For the glamorous trick-or-treaters, check the FDA’s list of approved makeup additives before purchasing. To avoid skin and eye irritation, test a small amount on your child’s skin before applying in large areas, and remove all makeup before your child goes to bed.
- Contact lenses are for prescription use only; lower your child’s risk of serious eye injury by avoiding decorative contact lenses altogether.
Before hitting the road, make sure that you and your children have the proper equipment to be safe and seen while trick-or-treating. Pack a flashlight so that you can see drivers and drivers can see you. Also, pack snacks so children won’t be tempted to eat their candy before it’s properly inspected. Keep these tips in mind as your trick-or-treaters hit the streets:
- Kids under 12 should be supervised by an adult while trick-or-treating and crossing the street.
- If your child is old enough to trick-or-treat without a parent, make sure to map out a safe route with them and set a curfew.
- Remind your children never to accept homemade goods from strangers and only visit well-lit houses in neighborhoods you know.
- Only cross the street in the crosswalk or at street corners. Never cross the street between parked cars.
- If there are no sidewalks available, walk on the far side of the road facing traffic.
- Walk, don’t run, between houses.
As Halloween comes to a close, there are a few more tips to remember:
- Thoroughly examine all the loot your children have collected. Look closely for choking hazards like peanuts, gum, and hard candies, and be sure none of the wrappers have been tampered with.
- If you have older trick-or-treaters, remind them to return home by curfew and to call if they’re going to be late.
- If you’re attending a Halloween party, assign a designated driver so that you can get home safely. Drivers should drive slowly and be alert for pedestrians, especially in residential neighborhoods.
Did You Know?
- More than twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year (Source: Safe Kids Worldwide)
- Children under 12 years old should always trick-or-treat and cross the street with an adult (Source: Safe Kids Worldwide)
- Drivers should be especially alert from 5:30-9:30pm, the most popular trick-or-treating hours (Source: Safe Kids Worldwide)
- Only 18% of parents will use reflective tape on their children’s costume (Source: CDC)
4-Safety: Halloween Safety Video 2016 – The 4-Safety team has some helpful tips to keep your trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween.
ABC News: Flammable Halloween Costumes; How to Identify and Avoid Them, 2014 – Learn what you can do to prevent your child from wearing a fire hazard.
Consumer Reports: Halloween Safety 2010 – Consumer Reports gives parents tips to keep their kids visible and safe this Halloween.
Hasbro Children’s Hospital: Halloween Safety with Dr. Dina Morrissey (Burstein) 2011 – Dr. Dina Burstein discusses quick tips and tools to use for a safe evening of trick-or-treating.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): Halloween Safety Tips for Children 2013 – The NFPA gives parents tips to make their Halloween a fire-safe holiday.
SafeKids: Be Safe, Be Seen on Halloween 2014 – Safe Kids shows trick-or-treaters how to be safe pedestrians on Halloween.
WTNH News: Halloween Safety Tips 2016 – Learn how to keep your kids safe on Halloween, from being a smart pedestrian to snacking on the right kind of treats