Posted by The Vigilant Mom on October 26, 2011
When I was growing up, the scariest thing about Halloween was the persistent rumors about crazy people hiding razor blades in candy bars. When we got home, my mom would look at our candy and make sure it was all still safely wrapped and then we would take off to eat ourselves sick. Today, many parents still worry about poisoned or tainted candy or treats despite the fact that virtually no child has ever been seriously harmed by such a crime. Is it possible that Halloween might not be so scary after all? Can cautious parents let their guard down?
Short answer? No. (Come on, you’re parents — you know we’re not allowed to relax!) But it’s important to know what the real dangers are on Halloween. Emergency rooms report that they see many eye injuries from sharp objects. Pirate sabers, fairy wands and long witchy fingernails come to mind. Another common Halloween-related injury is burns from costumes that are made from flammable materials. Don’t forget that a lot of those glowing pumpkins that invite kids to come collect treats are glowing because there is an actual open flame inside of them. Check the label on your child’s costume to see if it is in fact flammable. Also, some doctors recommend that you do an allergy patch test with make up before applying it to your child’s whole face or body so your superbly painted little zombie doesn’t end up a superbly painted hive-covered little zombie.
Still, the biggest danger on Halloween — and one all parents should be aware of — is cars. A study conducted by Safe Kids USA found that twice as many children are killed by cars on Halloween than on an average day. Some studies put that figure at four times as many. Please, please, please talk to your kids about staying on the sidewalk and using caution when crossing the streets. Parents can also help minimize the risk if they make sure that costumes aren’t so long that kids can trip over them (and thus not be visible to an oncoming car), and that shoes or any costume footwear (bear claws, army boots, glass slippers) fit properly and their children are sure-footed in them. Finally, make sure that his awesome scary mask does not restrict your child’s vision in any way.
Trick or treating is an all-time kid favorite. Keep Halloween a safe night, too.