But since many injuries are actually from falls and kids who get hit by cars, your plans for Halloween safety have to go way beyond Halloween candy if you want to really keep your kids safe.
Planning a Safe HalloweenMost plans for a safe Halloween should start well before Halloween and include getting a safe costume that is:
- flame resistant. Since candlelit pumpkins are popular on Halloween, a flame resistant Halloween costume is very important. Although it is easy to buy a Halloween costume that is flame resistant by simply checking the label, if you are making a homemade costume, be sure to use flame resistant materials.
- easily visible at night, which might include some kind of reflective tape or other bright and reflective materials incorporated into the costume.
- well fitted to your child and not too long so that it can make your child trip and fall, a leading cause of injuries on Halloween. Masks, hats, and other accessories, such as a sword, should also be appropriate to your child's size.
Supervision on HalloweenOnce you have your child's costume, another important decision to make about Halloween is where and when your child will go trick-or-treating.
Is he old enough to go alone or with friends?
Although many experts are rather vague on what age to let kids trick-or-treat alone, the National Safety Council is very clear when they state that 'make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.'
Although 12 might seem a little old for some people, if you consider all of the confusion in most neighborhoods with the extra trick-or-treaters and the mischievous mood that Halloween puts many older kids in, supervision up to this age is likely a good idea.
Trick-or-Treating SafetyEven when you plan to trick-or-treat in a group that is supervised by adults, kids often run from house to house, sometimes leaving their supervisors behind...
A plan for trick-or-treating can help to avoid any safety hazards and can help to make sure your kids follow the rules, including:
- planning a safe area to trick-or-treat
- staying in the group they started with and walking to each house together
- only going to house that has a light on
- walking on the sidewalk and not cutting across lawns, alleys, etc.
- crossing streets at crosswalks
- not entering a house without supervision
Halloween CandyWith the rise in childhood obesity, in addition to talking about safety on Halloween, it is important to consider your child's health and think about what you are going to do with all of that Halloween candy he might get...
Making sure your child eats dinner before going trick-or-treating can help to make sure he doesn't overdo it on Halloween night. It can also help to have a plan in place before you go trick-or-treating, which can include allowing your child to choose treats that he can eat right away, and then putting the rest of the treats away and rationing them for the coming weeks and months.
And of course, be sure to inspect your child's treats, although there have never been any official reports of Halloween candy being tampered with. You likely don't have to go so far as getting an xray of your child's Halloween candy, but a quick look over is easy to do.
Since a lot of the fun is going out and getting the candy on Halloween, if your child really shouldn't eat his Halloween candy, you might allow him to 'trade it in' for something else he wants, like a new game, etc.
Pumpkin CarvingFew things are associated with Halloween as much as pumpkin carving, but it is hard to think of anything that could be more dangerous for younger kids. As an alternative to pumpkin carving, you might consider allowing your younger kids to paint their pumpkins or use a pumpkin decorating kit to dress up their pumpkin without the mess or risk of pumpkin carving.
Halloween FunAlthough Halloween is a fun time of year for kids, it is no fun to get hurt, so take some time to make sure your kids have a safe, healthy, and fun Halloween.
National Safety Council. Halloween Safety Fact Sheet.