Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
TOPEKA, Kan. – Halloween is among the most joyfully anticipated holidays for children in the United States. Carving pumpkins, donning festive costumes and trick-or-treating are popular activities. Yet, Halloween can be rife with potential injury dangers, too, ranging from pedestrian accidents to falls to burns to poisonings. Assuring safety while participating in Halloween activities should be the first consideration for every parent and caregiver.
“Kids need safety instruction before they go out trick-or-treating,” says Cherie Sage, State Director for Safe Kids Kansas. “Many kids will be out trick-or-treating while it is dark when it is more difficult for drivers to see them. There are several easy and effective rules that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury. For example, children younger than age 12 should not be alone crossing streets on Halloween without an adult. If older kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without adult supervision, parents should make sure they go in a group and stick to a planned route with good lighting.”
On average, twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. compared to the same hours on other days throughout the year, according to a 2011 study published by Safe Kids Worldwide. Drivers need to be extra alert as there will be more children on the streets and sidewalks and those kids may be focused on gathering candy and the excitement of the holiday rather than being careful while crossing streets. Safe Kids Kansas urges drivers to slow down on neighborhood roads to make Halloween more enjoyable for everyone and to help save lives.
“While it’s a good idea for children to have a cell phone with them in case of an emergency, remind them to pay attention to their surroundings and not be distracted from hazards because they are texting or talking on the phone,” added Sage.
While pedestrian safety is a main concern on Halloween, parents and kids should also be careful when dealing with candy. "While kids never want to wait to dive into their candy, it is best to check sweets for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them," says Sage. “Remind children to only eat treats in original and unopened wrappers."
Costumes and Treats
For more tips on how to help kids trick-or-treat safely on Halloween, visit www.safekids.org and www.safekidskansas.org.