The time for Halloween festivities has come again! Between trick-or-treating, costume contests, and pumpkin-loving celebrations, there is more than enough spooky fun to keep your family entertained.
Unfortunately, Halloween is also a holiday full of hazards that could cause serious injuries. Celebrate with caution this year and avoid the common dangers that could end your exciting night with a trip to the emergency room.
Watch For Deadly Road Hazards
Halloween is the most dangerous night for children to be out on the streets. According to the National Safety Council (N.S.C.), children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a vehicle on this holiday than any other day of the year.
Another study published by Sperling’s Best Places found that over 60% of fatal road accidents occurred within a four hour period on Halloween: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Nearly 25% of the accidents during this timeframe occurred within what’s called the ‘Deadliest Hour,’ between 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
Dark streets, limited visibility, and increased distractions on Halloween can prove to be deadly if pedestrians and drivers do not stay alert. According to the Be Safe, Be Seen safety campaign proofed by Safe Kids Worldwide’s, these are the safety measures families can take this week to prevent Halloween road accidents:
- Follow basic traffic rules- look left, right, and left again.
- Watch for cars that are backing up or turning around in neighborhoods.
- Use sidewalks or walk in the grass.
- Cross the street at corners, marked crosswalks, and always use available traffic signals.
- Always supervise young children on the roads.
- Watch out for kids crossing in the middle of a road.
- Keep distractions in the car to a minimum (no phones or electronics, low volume for music and conversations).
- Slow down in the neighborhoods.
- Stay alert during trick-or-treating times.
Avoid Costume Mishaps
For some unlucky trick-or-treaters, a poor costume choice will be the most dangerous hazard of the night. It’s important to keep safety in mind this holiday when designing or buying your costume to avoid preventable accidents. Some of the precautions to consider include:
- Flame-Resistant Materials: Candles and other fiery decorations are popular on Halloween. If your child’s costume is not flame-resistant, they could easily catch fire and suffer from serious burns and injuries.
- Capes and Long Garments: Strangulation and tripping injuries are very common with costumes that have capes, long jewelry, cords, and sashes. Costumes that are too big or drag on the ground can also lead to falling injuries.
- Face Paint: Some face paints can lead to allergic reactions, skin irritations, and rashes. Non-toxic makeup products are not necessarily safe for your kids, but they are less likely to cause adverse effects.
- Sharp Props: Knives, swords, and spikey accessories can cause injury to your child and other children around them. Leave the dangerous props at home to avoid causing unnecessary harm.
- Masks: Masks can block your child’s vision of cars on busy roads and hazards such as leaves, stairs, decorations, and other trick-or-treaters. Not being able to see hazards increase your child’s risk of serious fall injuries.
- Dark Colors: When children are dressed in dark colors, they can be hard to see on the side of the road for drivers. Add brightly colored accessories and reflective elements to your child’s costume to keep them visible.
Not So Sweet Treats
Kids look forward to collecting pounds of candy on Halloween, thinking little about the risks associated with their treats. However, there are several dangers parents should be keeping in mind before their kids chow-down on their goodies this year.
Allergic reactions, food poisoning, teeth injuries, choking, and treat tampering can all cause more of a fright than families are looking for this Halloween. To help keep kids safe, the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) advises parents to follow these simple tips for trick-or-treating:
- No Snacking: Keep your kids from eating candy while they are out trick-or-treating to better monitor the treats they are getting.
- Avoid Unwrapped Treats: Teach your kids not to eat any candy that is not properly wrapped in a commercial wrapper. Homemade treats might be fine, but any improper handling could lead to foodborne illnesses.
- Check Labels: If your child has food allergies, check all labels first. Sometimes you can tell by the name of a treat that it has harmful ingredients for your child, while other times, reading the back is the only way to know. For houses that are providing non-food treats for children with food allergies, look for the teal pumpkins!
- Watch for Small Items: Tiny toys and small or hard candies can cause small children to choke. Parents should keep an eye on the candy their young children are choosing to prevent these types of accidents.
Keep Pets Safe
Pet owners- be prepared. Halloween can be more harmful to your pets than fun. Treats, costumes, and frequent doorbell ringing from eager trick-or-treaters can cause your pets a lot of stress. To keep everyone happy and safes this Halloween, consider these safety tips in mind before the night is in full swing:
- Keep treats out of reach.
- Be cautious about the decorations that could scare or injure your pets.
- Don’t allow your pets to chew on costumes.
- If your pet is skittish, consider a respite option to reduce their stress from trick-or-treating or parties.
- Avoid doorbell rings by sitting out on the porch to wait for trick-or-treaters.
- Never leave your pets outside overnight on Halloween. Not everyone is nice.
Our team at Jacobs & Wallace wishes all Connecticut residents a happy and safe Halloween. Don’t let holiday hazards ruin your night of fun. Prepare for emergencies, stay alert, and enjoy your spooky night out on the town.