Minimizing Risks for Children on Halloween

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-treat goodies. The Trauma Department at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center urges families to stay safe this holiday.

Statistics show that roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year. Also, falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween.

According to Dr. Sebastian Schubl, Medical Director of Trauma at Jamaica Hospital, parents can help minimize the risk of children 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.
Children should:
• Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
• Travel in small groups accompanied by an adult.
• Use costume plastic knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
When walking through neighborhoods trick or treating, 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 or costumes that are bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
• Consider using face paint instead of masks which 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.

On Halloween parents and adults should:
• Supervise the trick or treat 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 slowly and carefully.
• Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.