According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to get hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Less serious injuries and trips to the emergency room from costume mishaps are common, too.
Allergies are something else to consider on Halloween, since one in 13 children in the U.S. is affected by food allergies. Common food allergies such milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat and tree nuts cause are resposible for a majority of allergic reactions and are often present in Halloween treats.
While accidents can happen, creating a safe environment and doing a little advance planning can significantly reduce the chances of your Halloween festivities having a mishap.
Tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating
Gathering candy and treats from your neighbors is a highlight of the fall season. If you and your children use these tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone can feel a little safer when they are accumulating their Halloween haul.
- Make sure all costume accessories – including swords and knives — are soft and flexible.
- Stay in groups and always have an adult chaperone for children.
- Add reflective tape to your gear to help others see you. You might want to add glow sticks to costumes or treat bags to assist with costume visibility.
- Evaluate everything for choking hazards and allergens before eating.
- Don’t eat anything not wrapped in a factory (unless you know who made it and it’s been approved to eat by a parent or guardian).
- Always walk, never run, from house to house with a flashlight.
- Always test makeup on a small facial area for skin reactions before applying all over.
- Look both ways before crossing any street and never cut through alleys or yards.
- Use crosswalks and sidewalks instead of the street whenever possible.
- Don’t wear decorative contact lenses with your costume as they can obscure vision.
- Wear flame-resistant costumes and stay away from candles.
- Make sure all costume parts fit well to avoid tripping, falling and obscured vision.
- Don’t go inside anyone’s house or car unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Make sure to review your family’s emergency protocol before heading out. Does everyone know how to contact 911 in an emergency? If they don’t remember, you should refresh everyone’s memory. It’s also a good idea to make sure each member of your group knows the full name, address and phone number of their parent or guardian, in case of an accident or separation. Put this info on an index card in situations with children too young to remember.
It’s imperative that all trick-or-treaters remember to keep cell phones and other electronic devices put away while out and about on Halloween night. Looking at a phone and walking could cause someone to end up in a ditch or in front of a moving car.
If trudging through neighborhoods isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other alternatives you can plan to enjoy and still feel festive. Check out our Halloween event guides for a variety of family fun options happening across the OKC metro.
Treats for kids with food allergies
It’s not only safe, but also kind, to have treats available for children who have food allergies. While you’re buying candy at the store, simply grab a few non-edible treats like small coloring books, bouncy balls, Halloween stickers, etc. and add them to your Halloween giveaways. That way any trick-or-treaters who are affected by food allergies are included in the fun.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a nationwide movement to raise awareness about food allergies during Halloween. If you have allergy-safe items to share, simply drop a teal pumpkin on your porch or at the end of your driveway to alert your neighbors to your participation.
The information in article was provided by INTEGRIS.