Staying safe on Halloween

By • Published: October 31st, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Like any good Halloween story, this one starts with a ghost. Seeking to capture all the candies in the land, the ghost runs outside to haunt the sidewalks. And then it happens. He trips on his costume. Instead of collecting candy, he spends Halloween in the hospital collecting stitches.

OK, that’s not a real ghost story. But while children may be more afraid of imaginary ghouls, it’s the ordinary hazards that pose the biggest threats on Halloween night.

Let’s start with the costume. Make sure it’s flame retardant and short enough so your child won’t trip. Experts also advise parents to avoid masks, which can block vision.

That brings us to one of the biggest hazards of Halloween night… traffic. According to a University of Michigan study, car accidents involving children are four-and-a-half times more likely on Halloween than on any other night. To stay safe, children should stick to sidewalks and wear light-colored clothes or reflective tape. Parents should also escort young ones and make sure older children are trick-or-treating in groups.

When it’s all over, there’s the other issue… what to do with all that candy. The first rule is to make sure children don’t touch one sugar-laden morsel until you inspect it. Sealed candies are in. Unwrapped treats are out.

Then, after the Tootsie Rolls have been chewed and the lollipops licked, there’s only one safe way your goblins and ghouls can cap off the night… a date with the toothbrush.