Parents: Keep kids safe this Halloween
While racing through the neighborhood collecting candy may sound like the perfect day for children, it can also be dangerous.
An average of 4 million children between the ages of 4 and 15 years old flood the streets for trick-or-treating each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids are also four-and-a-half times more likely to be killed by a motor vehicle on Halloween night than any other night of the year.
To keep kids safe while trick-or-treating, Dr. Aaron Traeger, a pediatrician with Advocate Children’s Medical Group at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., says it’s important for parents to get involved.
“It not only creates good memories for parents but also shows the kids that you care,” says Dr. Traeger. “Parental involvement is a good thing, even if it is just driving the kids around the neighborhood.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends parents accompany young children as they go trick-or-treating. For older kids, they recommend planning a route for them to follow. In addition, Dr. Traeger recommends setting a curfew and making sure kids stay in groups.
“There is safety in numbers, but too many kids and a mob mentality can follow,” he says. “Make sure you ask who is going to be there and agree that all in the group are responsible.”
Other top reasons kids end up in the hospital on Halloween include falls, eye injuries from sharp objects, hand fractures from tripping on costumes and burns from flammable costumes, according to the AAP. To prevent these injuries, it’s important for kids to be wearing safe costumes.
“Costumes should be warm, easily seen and they should have their vision not restricted,” says Dr. Traeger. “We do not want want to trip on a curb and get hurt.”
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