While many Florida parents worry about scary stories and bad candy that could hurt children at Halloween, experts agree that there are more frightening risks lurking at this time of year, and many of those risks have to do with children’s Halloween costumes. Among the risks that parents should be aware of:
1) Slip and fall accidents. On Halloween night, streets are dark and may be slippery with spilled candy, fallen leaves, and pieces of broken carved pumpkins. Costumes that obstruct a clear vision of the sidewalk can mean that children slip and slide. In addition, too-long costumes can cause tripping and falling.
2) Car accidents. Costumes should be easily visible and should have lights or reflective pieces so that cars can easily see children who are out trick or treating. There are many children’s flashlights and strobe lights that can add to a child’s costume and can keep the child safe on Halloween night.
3) Burn injuries. Parents should look for flame retardant costumes, since jack o’ lanterns, candles and other spooky decorations do pose a fire risk for children at this time of year. Also, longer costumes that drag around or have dropping sleeves can pose a greater fire hazard, since children may not always be aware of where their costume ends. Trim up costumes to keep trick and treaters safe.
4) Wounds and other injuries. All swords and props should be made from flexible, softer materials, so that children do not accidentally harm one another in play.
5) Other possible injuries. In addition to accidents, parents do need to be aware that not every adult is being cautious around children at Halloween. Parents should always accompany children who are out trick or treating. Many communities have initiatives such as safe areas for Halloween celebrations and Halloween patrols to help parents.