Halloween can be a spook-tacular time for children and many families have fun activities planned for this time of year. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over the past three years an annual average of 3,200 Halloween-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, and more child pedestrians die on Halloween than any other day of the year.
To keep your little ones safe, follow these tips:
- Drawstrings found in hoodies and jackets may pose a strangulation hazard, so remove drawstrings before allowing your child to wear them.
- Twenty percent of Halloween-related injuries include lacerations, ingestions, allergic reactions, and rashes that are related to costumes and decorations. Avoid costumes and decorations that may contain sharp pieces, allergens, and small parts.
- Wear costumes that fit close to the body, as loose-fitting costumes can lead to falls and can be especially dangerous around an open flame. Twenty-five percent of the related injuries come from falls.
- Use a patch tested, non-toxic face paint rather than costume masks, so that children have better visibility of cyclists and vehicles.
- Select flame retardant materials like polyester or nylon when buying or making costumes.
- Use flashlights, glow sticks, and reflective tape or vests when trick-or-treating so that children are more visible when crossing streets.
- Electronics like flashlights or non-food toys handed out during trick or treat could contain button batteries which can cause serious injuries or death if ingested.
- When it comes to jack-o-lanterns, replace the open flames with battery-operated lights or glow sticks to prevent fires.
- About 55% of injuries related to Halloween result from pumpkin carving. Leave all carvings to the adults, and let children have fun scooping out the seeds inside. They can also search for their favorite design and trace it on the pumpkin with a child-safe, non-toxic marker.
- Halloween items can be recalled before or after the holiday, so check to see if your costumes or decorations have been recalled at cpsc.gov/recalls.