Trick-or-treating is a memorable tradition to share with your children during Halloween holiday celebrations, but sometimes this classic activity can result in injuries, sickness, or accidents. When it comes to choosing a costume, a trick-or-treat route, and providing supervision when necessary, safety precautions can keep your trick-or-treaters healthy and happy, without detracting from their enjoyment of the night.
The safest costumes are made with bright colors that will be readily noticed by drivers after the sun sets. Reflective materials attached to the costume or trick-or-treat bag will also protect your children from accidents on the roads. Costume ideas that encourage bright colors and flashy displays include clowns, fairies, race car drivers, or cheerleaders.
Ill-fitting costumes can cause children to stumble and fall while trick-or-treating. Make sure that shoes are the right size and pants or skirts don’t drag along the ground when your child walks.
Some costume accessories can turn dangerous. Be wary of long magical wands or sharp toy swords that your child might fall on if he trips during the night. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns against masks that impair vision. Blind spots may cause a child to not notice cars or bikes on the road.
Planning a Safe Route
If you determine that your child is old enough to trick-or-treat without you present, you will need to help him devise a safe route for the evening. Consider these tips while mapping out a journey for your children:
- Stick to well-lit streets
- Choose roads with sidewalks or very light traffic
- Stay within neighborhoods you are familiar with
- Instruct your children to only approach houses with an outside light on
- Supply cell phones and flashlights to improve the safety of even the most well-planned routes
Even if your trick-or-treater is braving the night without you, it is best to discourage him from enjoying any treats before you can inspect them. Homemade goodies, except from neighbors you know well and trust, should be discarded. Even prepackaged candies should be looked over for signs of tampering before giving them to your child.
Plantation General Hospital can give you more information about protecting your children during the holidays and year-round. Call our free Consult-a-Nurse® service at 1-866-442-2362 today with your questions.