Halloween is known as a kid-favorite holiday, full of spooky fun and lots of candy. However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as children take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treating goodies. The Trauma Department at Jamaica Hospital is urging families to stay safe this holiday.
According to SafeKids USA, “Roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year, and falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween.”
Parents can help prevent children from getting injured at Halloween by following these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Safety Council.
- Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
- Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult.
- Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
When walking in neighborhoods, they should
- Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
- Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks, and do not cross between parked cars.
- Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
- Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
- Consider using face paint instead of masks. (Masks can obstruct a child’s vision.)
- Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
- Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
- Be reminded to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.
- Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
- Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
- Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
- Drive slowly.
- Watch for children in the street and on medians.
- Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
- Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.