Contaminated candy and speaking to strangers are potential hazards on Halloween, but there are other dangers you’re more likely to face while trick-or-treating.
Pedestrian injuries, burns and falls may be more likely than getting sick from candy, FamilyEducation says.
Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says, and are more likely to be hit than adults because they are smaller and aren’t as good at judging distances and speeds.
Visibility is low for both drivers and pedestrians in the evening, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend doing things to be more visible:
- Bring glow sticks or a flashlight so drivers and other pedestrians can see you (and so you can see). Don’t forget extra batteries.
- Attach reflective tape on clothes, costumes and other trick-or-treating accoutrements.
- Use pedestrian spaces where drivers are used to seeing you, like the crosswalk or the sidewalk. While using the crosswalk, don’t assume you have the right of way and don’t cross between parked cars. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the shoulder facing traffic.
- Review traffic laws with children before trick-or-treating.
- Pay attention because distracted walking can be as hazardous as distracted driving.
You should also be aware of decorative Halloween candles that can ignite costumes, FamilyEducation recommends, like ones inside jack-o’-lanterns on porches.
- Avoid buying or making costumes with long, trailing fabric.
- Keep all decorations away from an open flame and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
- Instead of using real candles, use a battery-operated candle or glow sticks in jack-o’-lanterns.
- Clear all the exits of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Remind children to stay away from open flames, including the candles inside jack-o’-lanterns. Before trick-or-treating, review the steps of stop, drop and roll in case clothing catches on fire.
- Make sure all fire alarms in the home are working.
For costume and candy safety, the American Pediatrics Association recommends:
- Buy or make costumes with flame resistant fabric.
- Sort and check treats at home. Even though tampering with candy is rare, a responsible adult should check candy for any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- A responsible adult should always accompany young children while trick-or-treating.
- Feed your kids a hearty meal before trick-or-treating or parties so they don’t fill up on Halloween candy.