Halloween is holiday that marks the epitome of the autumn season. Cafes smell of pumpkin coffee, stoops are lined with gourds and leaves , and children eagerly floss their teeth in anticipation of bounties of free candy. There is a sinister aspect to Halloween, however, and it doesn’t involve the undead. Every Halloween, hundreds of children, teenagers and adults end up hospitalized or fatally injured. The first step to increasing your child’s safety while trick-or-treating is understanding the dangers they face.
Halloween festivities and parties aimed at adults are often teeming with booze, and pose the greatest danger during this Halloween weekend. It only takes one reckless individual with a pair of car keys and slow reflexes to end a child’s life. According to Star News Online, children are four times more likely to be hit by a car than any other time of the year. Children and adults should avoid walking in the road if at all possible, and should actively monitor the area for vehicles. Do not trick-or-treat near busy roadways. Instead, travel to a neighboring block that is secluded or that receives less traffic. Complexes and associations with no major roads are ideal, as the only traffic will be from home owners coming to and go from their homes.
EMS and Fire Departments often report a higher-than-normal instances of burns on Halloween. This is often due to the careless use of fire and fireworks by children and teenagers. To ensure that your child doesn’t suffer any burns or fire-related dangers this Halloween, instruction them to avoid handling fireworks or being around anyone using fire in anyway. Vet parties ahead of time to verify that they are appropriately chaperoned and that no fireworks, candles or other fire-related items will be on the premises.
Especially in metropolitan areas, large groups of individuals such as parties, and any other situation with a constant stream of visitors, children may easily become lost or become the target of a kidnapper. Dress your children in a unique costume or give them a hat or hair decoration that is easy to spot in a crowd. Don’t permit a young child to venture into an enclosed space (such as a haunted house) alone, and keep them in your sights at all times. A child should be accompanied when visiting the bathroom.
A poorly-designed costume could be dangerous; even deadly. Make sure that your child’s feet are not obstructed in anyway; they should be able to walk without stumbling and run if necessary. Do not use any costume that constricts your child’s airway, or that places a rope around the neck. A tie, rope or other loose item may become tangled in fairground rides or other machinery and strangle the child. The costume should have reflective strips to aid in visibility at nighttime, as well as flame resistant material in the event that you child comes in contact with a flame (such as a sparkler or candle).