Halloween is the favorite holiday of more than one quarter of Americans — but it can be dangerous, too. Here are the top 5 dangers to avoid this year.
Car accidents are the most common Halloween accidents. This includes drunk driving as well as overexcited children running across a street without looking. Overall, there is normally an increase of 14% in car accidents on Halloween. If Halloween is a drinking and dancing night for you, make sure to choose a designated driver or plan to call an Uber.
More children die in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than any other day of the year. Here are some steps to take to keep kids safe:
- Make sure costumes allow easy walking. Tripping over a costume is a common problem. Keep hemlines high enough that kids won’t step on their costumes.
- Be sure costumes are visible, too. If your kids choose dark costumes, add some reflective tape or glow stick jewelry to help them stay visible to drivers.
- Choose face painting instead of masks that might interfere with your child’s vision.
- Remind kids not to cross streets between parked cars. Crosswalks and intersections are the safest places to cross.
- Discuss rules about trick or treating before you go out. Depending on the ages of your kids, you might require them to stay where you can see them, have them use the buddy system, or keep to the sidewalk. Know where your kids are and have a meeting time and place for older kids.
Pumpkin carving accidents
Cuts and scrapes from carving pumpkins account for about 55% of the emergency room visits associated with Halloween. Adult supervision is crucial to safe carving. And, while sharp tools are generally safer than dull ones that require a lot of sawing, protective gloves are still a good idea.
Consider painting pumpkins instead of carving them, especially for younger children.
Tripping on a costume and falling while putting up decorations are responsible for about 25% of Halloween injuries. Falls can lead to all kinds of injuries. Avoid costumes that are too long and put all family members in comfortable shoes for walking. Make a flashlight part of the costume, too.
Decorate before dark if your decorations require getting up on a ladder. While you’re at it, avoid having ropes or strings on the ground where people can trip over them. If your decorations absolutely must have anchor strings, consider adding reflective tape to help trick or treaters avoid them.
Does your costume come with a sword, wand, or other sharp prop? Do your best to keep kids from brandishing their swords, and make sure any accouterments are securely attached so they don’t swing out if kids run.
Halloween can be overexciting for dogs, and strangers coming to the door may just send them over the edge. Remind children not to try to pet a strange dog without getting permission from their humans.
Stepping into a gate or doorway can agitate dogs. Teach kids to avoid taking those actions while they trick or treat. Instead, ring the doorbell and stand back.
With these precautions, Halloween can be all treats and no tricks. If you do need quick, convenient medical care for minor injuries, MANA Urgent Care is a great place to try.