Almost everyone enjoys scaring people with spooky costumes and decorations on Halloween, but when it comes to our children, the last thing we want is to feel frightened for their safety. Unfortunately, Halloween is, by far, the deadliest day of the year for young pedestrians.
According to a 2012 study conducted by State Farm and Sperling’s BestPlaces, 115 pedestrians under 18 were killed on October 31 over a 21-year period from 1990 to 2010. That is an average of 5.5 deaths on Halloween, compared to an average of 2.6 deaths on other days of the year.
Make sure that your children do not become a statistic. Follow our list of Halloween safety tips for kids below to help keep your little ones safe and happy while out Trick-or-Treating.
1. Don’t Let Children Trick-Or-Treat Alone
Children under the age of 12 should always be under adult supervision. Children that are old enough to trick-or-treat on their own should go out in groups and stick to familiar, well-lit areas.
2. Teach Children to Walk Safely
If your older children are going trick-or-treating without an adult, encourage them to stay on the sidewalk, if possible. If they have to cross the street, tell them to use established crosswalks with traffic signals and remind them to look both ways and make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Tell them to walk with their electric devices down and their heads up.
3. Pick the Right Costume
Your child’s costume should be bright and reflective so that it is visible to drivers. You may want to consider adding reflective tape to either their costume or trick-or-treat bag. Additionally, make sure their costume is the right size, so your child doesn’t accidentally trip and fall while trick-or-treating. You should also check to ensure that the costume is made of flame-resistant material.
A stick, sword, or cane that is part of your child’s costume shouldn’t be too long or sharp, because it could injure your child if he or she accidentally falls. Eyeholes in your child’s mask should be large enough so that your child can see clearly. Better yet, consider painting your child’s face with glow-in-the-dark face paint instead of using a mask.
4. Remove Items That Trick-Or-Treaters Can Trip Over
To make your home safer for trick-or-treaters, remove any items from the porch or front yard that children could trip over, such as hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn chairs. If you have pets, restrain them so that they don’t attack trick-or-treaters visiting your home.
5. Hold a Flashlight While Trick-Or-Treating
Have your children hold flashlights while trick-or-treating, so they can see and drivers can see them. All children and their escorts should have flashlights with fresh batteries.
6. Drive Safely On Halloween
Slow down and stay alert while driving on Halloween, especially between 5:30pm and 9:30pm, which is when most kids are out trick-or-treating. Eliminate distractions from inside your car so you can concentrate on driving. Drive slowly and turn your headlights on earlier than usual so you can spot children from further away.
7. Examine All the Treats Your Child Receives
When your children are done trick-or-treating, make sure that an adult checks their treats and teaches them to eat only wrapped candy. Avoid eating homemade treats that were made by strangers.
Stay Safe and Have Fun
Dating back to Celtic rituals, Halloween has been celebrated for thousands of years, and today, the United States Census Bureau reports that over 41 million children go trick-or-treating. Even with it’s wide popularity, there are real hazards involved with trick-or-treating, and it’s important to ensure your children’s safety. Before going out this year, be sure to take into account our list of Halloween safety tips for kids, and you will help to eliminate the risks. Stay safe, and have fun!