Halloween is a holiday that kids look forward to all year. It serves as a chance to get creative with costumes, decorate the house, carve pumpkins and most importantly, trick-or-treat. When your child is picking out a costume, make sure to pick the right size and use nontoxic face paints instead of masks. Costumes that are too long in the front can create a tripping hazard and masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
To help make this Halloween a fun and safe holiday, go over basic safety protocols with your children beforehand, such as:
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without an older child or adult supervision.
- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
- Carry glow sticks, lanterns or flashlights to help you see and be seen by drivers.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway.
- Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street.
Drivers should be extra careful on Halloween night since, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Drive slowly and be alert as you drive through neighborhoods where children could be. Avoid using your phone or any other distractions while driving and pay close attention when turning into or backing out of driveways.
Leigha Jordan is the injury prevention coordinator for the trauma department at Cone Health. She also manages the activities of Safe Guilford, the injury prevention coalition for Guilford County; and provides outreach and education on child passenger, bike and pedestrian safety; and fall prevention for older adults. Jordan received a Master of Science in Health Promotion from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2001.