Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is known as a kid-favorite holiday, full of spooky fun and lots of candy. However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as children take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treating goodies.
"Pedestrian injuries are the most common type of Halloween injury," said Dina Morrissey, MD, MPH, program coordinator for the Injury Prevention Center at Hasbro Children's Hospital. "There are four to five times more pedestrian fatalities on Halloween versus the average for the rest of the year."
Other common Halloween injuries are trips and falls from costumes that are too big or obstruct sight; burns from highly-flammable costumes; and cuts while carving pumpkins. Morrissey advises that parental supervision can help to avoid all of these types of injuries.
The Injury Prevention Center offers the following tips for Halloween safety:
Choosing a Costume
- Make sure the costume fits properly. Long costumes could cause the child to trip.
- Try to avoid masks because they can obstruct a child's view. Consider face paint instead.
- Bright colors will make children more visible.
- Use reflective tape or other reflective devices to make your child more visible.
While Out Trick or Treating
- Young children should always have adult supervision.
- Parents should plan out the trick-or-treating route - best to stay on well lit roads with sidewalks.
- Bring a flashlight and cell phone with you.
- Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
- Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
- Remind children to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
- Tampering with candy is very rare; however, it is a good idea to inspect candy before letting children dig in. Throw out anything that is not wrapped or that looks suspicious.
When Carving Pumpkins
- Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
- Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin, then let an adult do the cutting.
- Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lit pumpkins unattended
Don't be scared, be safe! Dina Morrissey, MD, MPH offers parents tips for keeping their children safe this Halloween.