Trick-or-treating can be fun for children and families (and childless adults, if we’re honest about it), but there are dangers that are worth being aware of, according to experts.
The American Red Cross said costume mishaps and traffic accidents are the most hazardous risks during the Halloween holiday. Here are some expert tips to keep your Halloween safe.
—Look for flame-resistant costumes.
—An adult should always be present while trick-or-treating, and a route should be planned.
—Carry a flashlight. Trick-or-treat bags should have reflective tape. Costumes should be lightly colored.
—Don’t visit houses unless they have a visible porch light. Never accept an invitation to go inside a home.
—Masks are dangerous and can obstruct vision. Consider using face paint as an alternative.
—Use sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway facing traffic. Avoid crossing the street unless at a corner. Never cross through alleyways or near parked cars.
—Be cautious around animals or pets.
—Glow sticks are a safer alternative for candles inside jack-o'-lanterns.
Doctors with the AFC/Doctors Express Urgent Care Centers offer their top six trick-or-treat dangers.
Children are twice as likely to be killed by a car while walking on Halloween night, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said nearly 60 percent of Halloween highway fatalities involve impaired drivers.
Wounds and stabbings
Even costume props can be dangerous. Accidental stabbings and eye wounds can cause serious injuries. Costume accessories should only be purchased if they are flexible.
Fires and burns
As mentioned above, pumpkins with candles are a fire hazard. Flowing princess dresses and vampire capes can easily ignite on open flames. All candles should be replaced with battery-operated candles or glow sticks.
Allergies and infections
Makeup, body paint and contact lenses can cause serious allergic reactions and infections. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration discourages purchasing contact lenses without proper measuring and fitting. Decorative lenses should only be fitted by an eye care professional. Recent legislation has made it illegal to market decorative contact lenses as over-the-counter products.
Cuts, bruises, broken bones
Costumes can be clunky and dangerous; partygoers and trick-or-treaters can trip, fall and hurt themselves. The National Safety Council said falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury on Halloween. Decorative high heels, shoes and slippers make it difficult to walk.
Stomachaches and nausea
An overindulgence in candy can lead to tummy troubles. Experts suggest eating a hefty dinner or large snack before going trick-or-treating or before heading to a costume party. Alcoholic beverages can lead to vomiting and reckless behavior. "Treaters" are encouraged to hand out only a single piece of candy or two per household.
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