Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for kids but is traditionally one of the most dangerous days for kids as pedestrians. For parents, safety is one of the biggest concerns. Yet, only one third of parents discuss safety with their children each year before they trick or treat.
Coy Ellis, Injury Prevention Coordinator for Children's Hospital, has spent the past several days talking to communities and schools about safe trick or treating. He says, "Taking precautions can help prevent serious accidents. Face masks for children are a great thing to use on Halloween and their are a lot of fun but when they're out trick or treating and walking the neighborhood you have to be careful with masks so they don't impair the children's peripheral vision. They need to see side to side. Having them look straight ahead is dangerous and they can walk into oncoming traffic".
Other toy props such as knives and swords can injure children if they are running from house to house. Adding items like glow sticks and safety reflector bracelets to costumes can help drivers see the little ones easier. Ellis says, "These reflector bracelets can be purchased at any store. They also have reflector tags to hang on clothes, backpacks and costumes".
General Halloween safety is always good to remember but what about parents who want to keep tabs on the older kids that are out trick or treating by themselves? Well, there's an app for that. Life 360 is one app that's available for your computer and smart phone. Add a circle of friends on each smart phone. Once it's activated, you can see exactly where the others are and check in from time to time. It has other good features like a panic message button that is delivers your emergency call to everyone in the circle with your location. Life 360 also shows crime areas and the location where sex offenders reside. These apps can give parents and kids more peace of mind.
Ellis believes that the best use of these applications would be in preparation of situations before they happen. He says, "This a great application for parents to use as an opportunity to plan and talk about Halloween safety with their children before Halloween night". Preparation and prevention goes a long way in staying out of the emergency room. Remember that increased safety doesn't mean decreased fun!
Coy also suggests trick or treating in subdivisions where the community is safer or try a trunk or treat event in the area. It's always best to trick or treat in a group.
by: Beth Neuhoff