Halloween is a fun celebration for kids of all ages. Glowing pumpkins on every doorstep, shuffling through fallen leaves in costumes, and going home with a bag bursting at the seams with candy adds a smile to every little ghoul and goblin’s face. The most exciting night of October should be fun, but for some parents, there are many safety concerns. South County Physical Therapy, Inc. (SCPT) is happy to share some tips to keep your trick-or-treaters out of harm’s way.
Traffic Safety: According to Safe Kids Worldwide, the risk of children being hit and killed by a vehicle doubles on Halloween. Make sure drivers are alerted to your child’s presence by utilizing reflective tape on costumes or trick-or-treat bags. Glow necklaces and glow sticks are great options that kids won’t refuse. Teach your child to look both ways before crossing the street, never run in between parked cars, and to stay distraction-free around roadways. Face masks can impair vision, so consider using face paint instead – just make sure it’s non-toxic, and test a small area of skin first before applying all over coverage.
Safety in Numbers: If your child is old enough to go trick-or-treating on their own, make sure they do so in a large group. Remind them to stay in well-lit, familiar areas, and never go into a stranger’s home or car. Shortcuts like alleys and backyards should be avoided. Have your teenager carry a cell phone for quick access to communication during emergency situations. Younger children should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult at all times. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests having kids wait until they get home to eat candy. It’s easier to confirm that candy packages haven’t been tampered with when the pieces are inspected at home in a well-lit area.
The Halloween Home: Prepare for stampedes of candy-seeking kids by clearing driveways of any obstructions that could lead to trips and falls. Illuminate the front of your house with outdoor bulbs for good visibility. Consider keeping some candy alternatives for kids with allergies, like coloring books and crayons. Be considerate of kids who don’t wear costumes—they might have sensory processing disorders or invisible disabilities, but still want to participate in the magic of Halloween. For inclusive Halloween ideas, check out these guides by Easterseals and Partners for Youth with Disabilities. Keep pets safe too, by securing them inside the house, so they don’t run out through an open door.
Now that you’ve brushed up on some tips for a ghoulishly-great holiday, turn on the Monster Mash and get out the pumpkin-carving supplies—it’s almost Halloween!
The Team at SCPT hopes everyone’s festivities are boo-rilliant (and safe)!