How to Stay Safe this Halloween
Written by Laila Elias, M.D./M.P.H. candidate
with Julie Belkowitz, M.D., M.P.H., Lyse Deus, and Oneith Cadiz, M.D.
It’s finally the time of year where costumes, candy, and creepy decorations are everywhere. For many kids, Halloween is one of the best nights of the year –getting to dress up as their favorite character, go trick-or-treating with friends, and eat some of their favorite sweets! While spooky season is an exciting time for everyone, what’s really spooky is that according to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night than any other day of the year.
Luckily, there are ways to make sure that you and your kids stay safe this Halloween:
Tips to prevent motor-vehicle injuries if you’re walking:
- If children are out after dark, add reflective tape to their costumes and bags, and give them glow sticks or flashlights to make them more visible
- Use crosswalks, and look both ways before crossing the street
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths
- Travel in familiar and well-lit areas
- A responsible adult should accompany younger children at all times
- If your older children are going alone, plan a route together that is acceptable to you
Tips to prevent motor-vehicle injuries if you’re driving:
- Keep your phone away while driving, a single distraction could end in a tragedy!
- Slow down and be extra alert when driving in residential areas
- Pull out and into driveways slowly and cautiously
- Make sure your headlights are on
Additional tips for general safety:
- Make sure all costume materials are fire-resistant
- If buying Halloween makeup, make sure its non-toxic and test it in a small area first
- Ask kids to wait to eat any candy until they’re home, just in case of any allergies
Lastly, with the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, it is important to take a few extra precautions:
- Trick-or-treat outdoors and in small groups
- Try to stay outdoors, but if you are at an indoor event, wear a mask and socially distance as much as possible
- Make sure to wash your hands before eating any candy
Practicing these recommendations is the best approach to protect your child during Halloween. For more information about Halloween Safety, visit www.healthychildren.org. You can also view the CDC guidelines here or contact the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, a program of the Children’s Trust, at 305-243-9080 or online at www.injuryfreemiami.org.
Have a fun and safe Halloween!