Halloween can be a fun holiday for kids. What's your child going to be? A princess, a power ranger, a super stealth Ninja? Or maybe something really scary, like Grandma in curlers. Whatever the character, in a few short days the community will come alive with little creatures of all sorts out having fun. But Halloween also presents some unique safety dangers to kids.The holiday has it's many urban safety myths, such as razor blades in candy. In the research we've conducted, we could not find any documented cases of this actually happening. There have been instances where children have been snatched or assaulted on Halloween. But this also is rare, and there is no spike in statistics in those area's that separate it from any other day of the year. The primary dangers are actually fire and pedestrian safety. Children's loose baggy costumes have a tendency to catch fire as they walk past all sorts of lit candles and Jack-O-Lanterns. And there is just something about masses of children in the street wearing dark clothing in the night that doesn't lend itself too well for safety. Add in the adult partygoers who often get an early start on their celebration, and the ingredients are there for disaster. These things don't have to spoil your holiday fun, as long as you arm your family with a few quick safety tips.
- Have trick-or-treater's carry a flashlight, so that cars on the road can see you better. Reflective tape on the costume or candy bag also helps.
- Make sure your child's costume is fire resistant.
- Avoid masks whenever possible, as they diminish vision greatly. If your child does wear a mask, have them walk with it up between houses.
- Always have kids trick-or-treat in groups. Have adult chaperones for kids under 12, and instruct children to never enter a house for any reason.
- Make children aware that some drivers may be impaired and they need to be extra careful. Explain to them how hard it is to see people at night through a cars windshield.
- Dress kids warmly, with other clothes underneath their costumes if necessary.
- If you use lit candles in your Jack-O-Lantern, make sure the flames are extinguished before you go to bed that night.
- If you send older children out without adult supervision, arm them with a cell phone.
- Consider opting for a mall or other organized trick or treating event as opposed to the traditional form. These programs are usually just as much fun and the eliminate nearly all the hazards associated with neighborhood trick-or-treating.
- Just to be on the safe side, take a quick peek at all your children's plunders for signs of tampering.