LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Tuesday is the day; it’s Halloween! A day so many children look forward to each and every year.
But with all the fun come a number of safety risks for kids, young and old. No matter your child’s age, there is a lot for parents to think about as they get their kids ready for the holiday.
Starting with younger children, representatives for Safe Kids at UK HealthCare said one of the most important things for parents to think about is their child’s costume.
Tripping and falling are some of the most common reasons kids end up in the hospital on Halloween, which is why making sure costumes fit properly and that your child can see if they’re wearing a mask is crucial to a safe and fun evening.
We talk about it a lot, but it’s important to reiterate that just because your child’s candy looks like a sweet treat, it can be deadly.
“If anything looks like it’s been already opened, you know, tampered with, maybe not closed, you just want to discard that,” said Sherri Hannan of Safe Kids. “You don’t want to eat anything that’s kind of like homemade; that you don’t know where it came from. If it comes from grandma, it say, but if it comes from a neighbor or a neighborhood that you’re not used to being in, you don’t know anybody. You know, those types of things maybe err on the side of caution and just go ahead and get rid of.”
While candy laced with drugs can be a fear for so many parents, parents of children with nut allergies need to be on high alert as well. A 2020 study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that peanut-related allergic reactions spiked roughly 85% on Halloween and 60% for all other nuts.
As younger children go from house to house, oftentimes they are not paying attention to what’s happening to their right or left on the street, so it’s super important for parents to establish proper safety habits for crossing the street.
It’s also crucial for drivers to be aware of their surroundings while behind the wheel. According to State Farm, 25% of all pedestrian deaths on Halloween happen in the middle of the road, between 6-7 p.m.
“As a motorist, keep your head on a swivel; really slow down your vehicle not just by a little bit, but actually creep as slow as you can as you’re going through these neighborhoods,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Corey King.
It’s not just young children that parents need to worry about on Halloween. As kids get older, there is an inherent desire for more independence.
While that’s all well and good, on Halloween, experts urge parents to lay out the expectations they have for their kids loud and clear, stressing the importance of staying in a group and being in familiar areas that are not too far from home. If your teen has a cellphone, Hannan urges you to make sure it’s charged and that you, as their parent, have the ability to track their location.
Hannan also said Halloween is oftentimes a time teenagers will mimic the behaviors of adults, so making sure you, as a parent, practice what you preach will promote safe habits for your teen.
“Be smart; make smart choices,” Hannan pleaded. “Sometimes we don’t get do-overs. So, you know, not doing anything that’s risky or unsafe. You know, doing anything that, you know, maybe would be a day or, you know, touching a gun, getting out a gun, you know, getting into alcohol or drugs. You know, just anything that would be, you know, unsafe.”
If you don’t fully trust your teenager to go out on their own, Hannan said it’s ok to tell them to stay with you while trick or treating.