Did you know child pedestrian injuries are more likely to occur on Halloween than any other day of the year? Discussing safety with your children before they go out trick-or-treating can help lower risks of dangers while roaming the neighborhood. For young children, be sure to have an adult supervising their adventures; for older children who are going alone, parents should plan and review a route for them to take and have a time when they are expected to return home. If adults are not present with older trick-or-treaters, they should travel in a group and maintain a buddy system so no one is alone.
Remind children to follow their typical safety guidelines, such as using the sidewalk, avoid walking in the street, and use established crosswalks when crossing the street. Avoid using cell phones, listening to loud music, or engaging in other activities that may cause distracted walking. Groups should stay in well lit areas and kids should wear bright or reflective costumes to help improve their visibility. If costumes are dark, consider adding a strip of reflective tape to the bag they carry or directly on their costume. Well-fitting shoes should be worn and if headgear is included in the costume, it should fit properly to prevent obstruction of the child’s vision. If masks do impact vision, consider a hat or non-toxic makeup as an alternative.
For those who are handing out treats, consider nonedible treats such as stickers or bubbles so that children with allergies can enjoy the festivities. Be cautious of any candies or toys that may pose a choking risk if ingested. Parents should encourage trick-or-treaters to wait until they arrive home to enjoy their candy, so that it can be sorted and checked for any open/damaged products. Be sure to ration out the treats overtime rather than splurging in just one night. And remind your child to brush their teeth before bed!
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). (October 25, 2023). Halloween Health & Safety. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/all-around/Pages/Halloween-Safety-Tips.aspx