Halloween Safety Tips for Kids
October 12, 2017
According to data collected by the National Safety Council (NSC), Halloween can be an especially dangerous time for children and teens. Statistics prove that October is one of the most fatal months for all automobile-related accidents, so it is crucial to take precautions for you and your loved ones.
Children between the ages of 5 and 9-years-old are particularly at-risk for motor vehicle-related accidents, according to some of the findings from the NSC. As many as 15% of all pedestrian deaths in 2015 were the result of children unexpectedly running into the street and another 15% were due to wearing dark clothing in combination with decreased nighttime visibility.
Halloween is a popular holiday, which the NSC estimates that as many as 89% of all kids in the U.S. participate. The council reports that 73% of children go trick-or-treating from door-to-door. Because some will be going out with their friend’s families or in other large groups, it is critical that Halloween safety start at home. Because children are likely to come into contact with many strangers on Halloween, parents and caregivers should discuss the importance of a child never entering a stranger’s house or walking around unsupervised without a trusted adult present.
Even Halloween costumes can create serious consumer hazards. The darker a costume, the greater the chance that a child will be more difficult for a driver to see at night. Choosing brightly colored costumes is one way to limit this risk. However, if you opt for a dark costume, attaching reflective tape to the material can help to increase visibility. Another important safety tip from the NSC is to make sure that all masks have eye, nose and mouth openings that are sufficiently ventilated and large enough to breathe comfortably and safely.
As part of a Halloween safety campaign, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched some general safety tips. The CDC recommends that parents and caregivers talk to their children about the following safety tips and take these precautions:
- Make sure that any props or accessories are made of soft, non-harmful materials;
- Don’t trick-or-treat alone. Always travel with a group or supervising adult(s);
- Wear reflective tape or a brightly-colored costume to make sure drivers can see you;
- Inspect candy and other treats before eating to make sure there are no choking hazards;
- Carry a flashlight and walk, don’t run;
- Test makeup before using it to ensure it doesn’t cause skin irritation – and remember to fully remove it before going to bed;
- Look both ways before crossing the street;
- Walk on sidewalks;
- Wear a well-fitting costume to limit falling and visibility risks;
- Do not eat homemade candies or treats from strangers;
- Do not enter a stranger’s home, and;
- Avoid candles as you’re walking – and make sure that costumes are up to flame-resistance standards
Being distracted as a pedestrian or a motor vehicle driver can result in deadly consequences. Because many children and teens will be out past sundown on Halloween and visibility will be limited, it is especially important that drivers make sure they are not using their cell phone behind the wheel – and the same goes for pedestrians. Limit all distractions in order to decrease the chances of getting hurt or killed in a dangerous automobile accident.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW), the most popular trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., especially in residential areas. Drivers should make sure that they are obeying posted speed limits, keeping an eye out for children – especially those who are wearing dark-colored costumes – and being generally cautious.
The best way to be safe this Halloween is to figure out the best plan for you and your family. After discussing some of these helpful Halloween safety tips with your child or teenager, please be sure to enjoy the holiday and the treats (and ghoulish frights) that come with it!
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