America's Pediatricians Offer Tips for a Safe Halloween

By   |  October 22, 2023

By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2022 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SUNDAY, Oct. 22, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- As pint-size witches, ghosts and superheroes roam the streets on Halloween, it’s important for adults to keep their eyes on safety.

“It’s always best for an adult to accompany young children when they trick-or-treat,” said Dr. Sadiqa Kendi, chief of pediatric emergency medicine at Boston Medical Center and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Often your town or park district will offer Halloween activities earlier in the day so you can avoid going out after dark. Older children should travel in groups and create a ‘buddy system’ to get each other home safely and prevent walking alone,” Kendi said in an academy news release.

The pediatricians' group suggests that homeowners keep pathways to the door well-lit and free of any obstacles like bicycles or garden hoses that could trip up kids.

In addition:

Drivers should use extra care on Oct. 31, especially between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Parents should make sure shoes fit, and costumes are short enough to move around without tripping. Hats and masks should fit properly so they don’t slide over eyes and block vision.

Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.

It’s safer to stay on well-lit streets. Always use the sidewalk and crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.

If there is no sidewalk, stay close to the edge of the road, facing traffic. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys.

About 62% of child pedestrian deaths occur mid-block, rather than at intersections, the academy notes.

“Parents often worry about tainted candy on Halloween, but cars and traffic are really the bigger concern,” Kendi said. “Let’s keep the scares to a minimum and enjoy this Halloween.”

Some other tips:

Only go to homes with a porch light on and, ideally, a well-lit pathway.

Don’t assume pedestrians have the right of way. Drivers may have trouble seeing you. Even if one car stops, others may not.

Parents should not text or listen to music while trick-or-treating with their kids.

If your older children are going out with friends, have them agree to a specific time when they should return home.

Get flashlights with batteries for everyone. Let them carry a cellphone for quick communication.

If your teen is old enough to drive, consider entering into the AAP’s Parent-Teen Driving Agreement, available online.

More information

Safe Kids Worldwide has more Halloween safety tips.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, Oct. 3, 2023