Halloween is one of the most fun and anticipated nights of the year for children, but there is one scary statistic every parent should know: on average, children are twice as likely to hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. It’s also a busy holiday for emergency rooms.
Dr. Heather Edgley, an ER physician from Children’s Hospital, says children are typically sent to the hospital with one of three types of injury on and around Halloween. The first are head injuries from being hit by a vehicle or falling. Cuts and lacerations are also common – in 2014, 40 percent of these cuts were from pumpkin carving, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hospitals also see children suffering burns from open flames like candles or lighters.
But there are a few things you can do to prevent these injuries before the day arrives, Edgley says. Leave pumpkin carving to adults and use battery-operated candles, instead of flames to light the pumpkins. Make sure to trim costumes to the correct length to prevent falls on the big night. And add reflective tape to costumes so children can be seen on Halloween.
On Halloween itself, Edgley suggests always trick or treating with an adult – don’t expect older children to watch younger ones. And skip the masks – these can prevent children from seeing what’s around them. Also, have children carry glow sticks or flashlights so they can be seen by other drivers. Finally, cross the street only at corners and trick or treat on one side of the street, then come back down the other, instead of darting back and forth.
And for all the adults, make sure to watch for children and limit distractions on Halloween night.
For more information, follow the links below.
Halloween Safety Tips (American Academy of Pediatrics)
Quick Tips for a Safe Halloween (Safe Kids Worldwide)