Halloween safety tips

On Call - Halloween Safety
On Call - Halloween Safety

My family really enjoys Halloween. I wish it didn't start in mid-September, but that's another story. We've been talking about costumes for weeks already, and all the excitement and drama gives our fall some flavor. It will all culminate in one crazy, spirited, exhausting day, and every year, it is so much fun. But, every year kids also get sick and injured because of the Halloween hoopla. So, while I hate to burst the spooky bubble, please take a moment to consider how to keep your children safe this October 31st.

First, and most seriously, did you know more children are struck by cars on Halloween, than on any other day of the year? Twice as many kids are killed on October 31st from being hit by a vehicle, than on an average day.

SEE ALSO: The science behind being scared

Why? To start, there are simply more children on the streets, which is something we can't avoid. But, there are other explanations for this scary statistic. Masks obstruct the field of vision, dark colored costumes make it difficult for drivers to see trick-or-treaters. Kids are darting from house to house, often across the road, and lots of the activity takes place at the most dangerous pedestrian time of the day, dusk. On top of all this, consider the rushing around. Parents are trying to get home from work to see their children, people have parties to get to and distractions abound.

Prevent tragedy by:

  • Making sure your child can see where he or she is going

  • Provide kids with flashlights

  • Adhere reflective tape to costumes

  • Provide kids with flashlights

  • Remind small children about street safety

  • Educate older, unsupervised kids, of the danger of cars on Halloween

If you are driving on Halloween, put down your phone. Go slow. Take extra care. Drive as if you are expecting something or someone to dart out at any second. Instruct your teenage drivers to do the same.

For many of the same reasons, more children get injured on Halloween.

Prevent injury by:

  • Making sure costumes do not present tripping hazards

  • trick or treat in sneakers

  • avoid costumes which come with cumbersome props – especially weapons

  • take pictures with the swords and wands, and then either hold onto them yourself or leave them home when going door to door

Door to door brings us to candy. Contrary to urban legend, the real risk is not from poison or razor blades in apples. The danger in the trick or treat bag is from all the sugar. Sugar has long term effects like increasing obesity and diabetes, and causing tooth decay It has short term effects such as disrupting sleep schedules, causing night terrors and stomach aches, decreasing attention span, making us more susceptible to illness and causing fatigue and depression.

Trick or treating is a great part of the day. You don't have to deprive your kids on this once a year holiday, which is in large part about candy. Just don't let them overdo it. Have healthy food on hand and encourage them to drink plenty of water. Remember too, there is nothing wrong with playing a trick and hiding some of the treats for a later date.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful, safe and healthy Halloween!

Halloween costume ideas for kids:

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What adults learned in school that kids won't

Originally published