Halloween is right around the corner and millions of children and adults alike are looking forward to wearing costumes, collecting candy, and attending parties. Unfortunately, many people do not appreciate the risks of accident and injury that come along with the fun and festivity of Halloween. Many parents worry about their children bringing home poisoned candy, however this worry is largely misplaced as a poisoned candy incident has not been reported in the United States in over 20 years. Instead, parents should focus on pedestrian safety, costumes, and decorations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents
nearly quadruple on Halloween night as opposed to any other night of the year, and most of these victims are children. The sun sets earlier in October, and therefore children will often begin trick-or-treating before rush hour ends. The high volume of motor vehicle traffic combined with the usually high volume of pedestrian traffic contributes to the extremely high accident occurrences. In addition to pedestrian accidents, many people fall victim to slip and falls
or other accidents as a result of costumes or decorations. You may try to prevent accidents and injuries to you and your child by following some basic safety tips. These tips include:
- Make sure trick-or-treaters are visible by carrying a flashlight or wearing reflective clothing. Kids should always walk in groups or with a trusted adult, and should never walk alone. Also, teach your kids to not unnecessarily zig-zag across the street through traffic, but instead visit all of the houses on one side of the street, then cross at the end to visit the houses on the other side.
- Try to avoid any overly billowy or voluminous costumes that may cause your child to trip and fall. Make sure any costume accessories such as swords or knives are flexible, soft, and short so they do not cause injuries if a child falls on them. Furthermore, avoid any completely dark costumes or costumes made of any flammable or hazardous materials.
- Make sure any decorations are placed out of the way of foot traffic, and not on steps or porches where children will be coming and going as they may trip over the decorations and fall. Jack-o-lanterns with lit candles should especially be placed a good distance away as costumes could possibly catch fire and cause burns.
If you follow basic safety tips and educate your children about risks, you should all have a happy, accident and injury
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