Every year children anxiously count down the days until they are able to put on their costumes and head out into the neighborhood in search of candy. Although Halloween is meant to be a fun occasion for the young and the old alike, it can also be unsafe.
Costumes may impair a child’s vision and motor function. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that studies indicate Halloween is in the top three among holidays that produce the most visits to hospital emergency rooms. Finger and hand injuries account for 17.6 percent of injuries, and children ages 10 to 14 sustain the greatest proportion of Halloween injuries. Trips and falls also account for a high number of injuries.
There are also a good deal of children who become injured before Halloween arrives, many of whom sustain lacerations when carving pumpkins.
To make Halloween a safe holiday, children and adults can heed these suggestions.
Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes
Although kids might want to wear shoes that match the costume, shoes that fit well and are comfortable are a safer bet. This will help prevent tripping and falling over cumbersome shoes. It also reduces the risk of developing blisters and discomfort when walking from home to home.
Go trick-or-treating in groups
Children should not be allowed to go out in search of candy alone. Going in a group means that someone can get help if need be. Also, there is safety in numbers. Predators won’t view a child as an easy target if he or she is with fellow trick-or-treaters.
Since daylight saving time begins shortly after Halloween, there are fewer hours of daylight for trick-or-treating. When Halloween falls on a weekday, children have to wait until after school to venture out, and it can quickly become dark. Therefore, make sure that children are equipped with flashlights and put reflective tape on their costumes so they will be more visible to fellow pedestrians and motorists.
Stick to the sidewalks
Children should stay on sidewalks and cross the street only at established crosswalks.
Do not enter homes
Unless a child is with an adult and the home is owned by a trusted friend, kids should not enter homes for treats.
Avoid candles and jack-o-lanterns
A costume can easily catch on fire, so it is best to steer clear of candles, luminaries and lit pumpkins.
Costumes can become hot and uncomfortable, especially when worn for long periods of time. Be sure children have water to rehydrate themselves.
Select flexible swords and knives if they are accompanying a costume. Avoid rigid items that can cause injuries.
Examine all candy before eating
Before kids have their first bite, parents should inspect candy wrappers to determine if there has been any tampering. Also, avoid homemade treats from homes unless you know the people who prepared the items.
Metro Creative Graphics Inc.