October is Halloween Safety Month, and it’s a time to ensure you and the family have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday. | Download PDF version
Halloween is for everyone. The young kids veiled in the mystery of faces covered by frightening masks or the glee of toddlers dressed in cute costumes. For others, it’s the trick-or-treating, classroom dress-up parties or family trips to a neighborhood haunted house.
However, there is a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns for mom and dads, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.
In 2013, an estimated 6,100 pedestrian deaths and 160,000 medically consulted nonfatal injuries occurred among pedestrians in motor vehicle incidents, according to Injury Facts 2015, the statistical report on unintentional injuries created by the National Safety Council. NSC research revealed the reasons for pedestrian deaths and injuries varied by age. Darting or running into the road accounted for about 70 percent of pedestrian deaths or injuries for those age 5 to 9 and about 47 percent of incidents for those 10 to 14.
In the U.S., October ranked No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths by month. The NSC list put August first, with 3,370 deaths, followed by October, 3,200, and September, 3,170.
Best Practices For a Safe Halloween
To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has compiled a list of Halloween Safety Tips, including do’s and don’ts on the trick-or-treat trail:
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young kids.
- If your older kids will be going out alone, plan and review an agreeable time to return.
- Agree on a time everyone should return home.
- Only go up to homes with a light on.
- Use extreme caution when entering a home or car of someone you don’t know.
Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. NSC offers the following safety tips for parents – and anyone who plans to be on the road during trick-or-treat hours:
Safety Tips for Motorists
- Keep your eyes open for trick or treaters on roadways, medians and curbs in neighborhoods.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
- Instruct your children to stay within familiar, well-lit areas and avoid walking alone.
- Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
- Tell your kids to never enter a stranger’s home.
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- If children are allowed outdoors after dark, then fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible.
- When buying any makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first.
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.