Halloween Safety
/ Categories: WELLNESS, 2022

Halloween Safety

The excitement of Halloween—the costumes, the candy, the decorations—can sometimes cause us to forget the important safety aspects of this annual event. In fact, a person is almost twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween compared with any other day of the year. The study found pedestrians between the ages of 4 and 8 saw a 10-fold increase in fatalities on Halloween. Paying attention to important safety guidance could help avoid a tragic accident.  

Costume Selection
Ensure that your child’s costume fits well, will not cause them to trip, and allows them to see where they are going. Ideally, your child would be able to turn their head from side to side and see in the same way they would if they were not wearing a costume. Think about how you might be able to incorporate high-visibility items—like reflective tape and glowsticks—into your child’s costume. Plan to bring a flashlight and fresh batteries. If it is a cold night especially, be sure to incorporate a hat into your child’s costume. 

Sharp costume accessories, such as pointy swords, should be avoided to prevent injuries if your child were to trip. If you are using cosmetics, such as makeup, on your child, consider reviewing the ingredients prior to application to ensure they are non toxic. Some toxic ingredients include lead, mercury, and talc. Additionally, perform a patch test on a small area of your child’s skin around 72 hours prior to application to determine whether or not they have an allergy. Some products contain common allergens such as nickel and latex. Eye accessories, such as eye shadow or fake eyelashes, should be applied to clean dry skin with clean hands to avoid eye infections and should be removed before bed. 

Before You Leave Home
Prepare your child to follow safety guidance. Remind them that they should walk, rather than run, to each house; stay on sidewalks; use crosswalks; and wait for you before crossing. Finally, let them know that they should wait to eat candy until after you have inspected it.

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
Watch your child carefully throughout the entire outing and remind them to follow safety rules. Stop and look before crossing streets. If transporting children by car, buckle them, no matter how short the trip.

Attention Drivers
Safe driving prevents accidents and injuries any time, but it is especially important on Halloween, when many young children are out trick-or-treating. Drive sober; remove distractions, including phones, by placing them in the glovebox or otherwise out of reach; drive significantly under the speed limit; and be prepared to stop. Doing so could prevent a tragedy. 

At Home Again
Allow your kids to consume only factory-wrapped treats or homemade treats from those you know and trust. Check your child’s candy for any sign of tampering. Parents of children with allergies need to be especially careful to read labels before approving their child’s candy to eat. Carry an epinephrine auto-injector, if prescribed. If you need to administer a dose of epinephrine to your child, be sure to follow the directions on the auto injector before administration. After they have received their dose, bring them to the nearest emergency department. If they are unresponsive or unstable, call EMS. Finally,
store medications properly, so children do not confuse dangerous pills with candy. 

With a fun costume and these tips, your family will have a healthy and safe Halloween celebration.

Kelsey Shoff, PA-C, is a physician assistant at SVMC ExpressCare, part of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Southwestern Vermont Health Care in Bennington. 


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