Halloween is coming up, and millions of families will be celebrating around the country.  The Census Bureau estimates that 41.1 million children around the country, ages 5 through 14, went trick-or-treating in 2017.  A study from Safe Kids Worldwide indicates that while 3 in 4 parents are worried about children’s safety on Halloween, only 1 in 3 talk to their kids about it.  Make sure you’re aware of potential dangers and talk to your kids to make sure everyone has good, safe fun.

With children walking around neighborhoods in the evening hours, there is increased risk of pedestrian danger.  Statistics show that child pedestrians are twice as likely to be killed on Halloween compared to other days of the year.  To reduce that risk, make sure your child is wearing a brightly colored costume costume for visibility, or alternatively put reflective tape on your child’s costume and treat bag.  Make sure everyone in your group has a flashlight with fresh batteries. Ensure that your kids walk on the sidewalk, or if one isn’t available, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible.  Have your kids cross at traffic signals and street corners, and make sure children under 12 are accompanied by an adult when crossing the street. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young trick-or-treaters.  If your children are old enough to trick-or-treat alone, make sure you discuss an approved route with them and agree specifically on what time they will be home.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using decorative hats and non-toxic makeup rather than masks, which can block your child’s eyesight.  Also test the makeup on a small area of your child’s skin beforehand to make sure they don’t have any reactions to it. Make sure your child’s costumes and accessories are all clearly labeled as flame resistant when you buy them.  Feed your children a healthy meal before they head out so they are less tempted to eat too many treats, and instruct them to wait to eat any candy until they get home, so that you can inspect it. If your child has a food allergy, be extra vigilant.

If you are expecting trick-or-treaters at your home, ensure there are no hazards in front of your house, like garden hoses, toys, decorations, wet leaves, or snow that a child could trip over or slip on.  Make sure your outdoor area is well lit, and that no light bulbs need to be replaced. If you have pets, keep them inside and make sure they are secured before you open the door.