Halloween is a magical time of year for children; they get to dress up as their favorite character or hero and are rewarded for doing so with mounds of sugary sweets. Of course it’s not all rainbows and candy corn. Halloween has its dangers, just not the ones you think.
Common Halloween Safety Myths
Myth: Your Halloween candy may be poisoned
Fact or Fiction: Fiction
No matter how many times people try to recycle this urban legend, it simply is not true. There have been a few of cases of children being poisoned around Halloween, but they weren’t random acts of a Trick-or-Treat hating madman; sadly, they were cases of parents purposefully poisoning their children in an attempt to make it look like a random case of tampered candy.
Myth: Child molesters and predators are on the prowl
Fact or Fiction: Fiction
The sooner we stop making child molesters out to be The Hamburglers of Heinous Crimes, we can accept the fact that the majority of pedophiles actually know their victims. They are no abductors and, as difficult as it to wrap our minds around their twisted views, most pedophiles do not intend to harm a child with their severely misguided sexualized affection.
Myth: Candy may contain razor blades
Fact or Fiction: Fact
I bet you thought I was going to say this one is a myth. Unfortunately, there have been documented cases of sharp foreign objects found in Halloween candy. Most notably, the case of James Joseph Smith of Minneapolis, who handed out Snickers bars with needles in them. While this isn’t a common trend, you should check wrappers for tampering before letting your children dig in.
Real Safety Concerns
Cars — Children are more likely to be hit by car on Halloween night than any other night of the year. To keep your kid safe:
- Ensure they are accompanied by an adult or an older sibling who is at least 13-years-old
- Teach children to look both ways before crossing the street
- Stay on the sidewalk
- Put reflective tape on costumes and candy bags
- Give children flashlights to carry
Candy — While poisoning isn’t common, it’s a good idea to take precautions. Don’t let your children eat homemade treats made by strangers; instruct them to only eat factory-wrapped goodies after you’ve checked them for tampering.
Costumes — Believe it or not, children’s costumes can create several hazards. Keep the following in mind when selecting costumes:
- Avoid masks that cover the child’s entire head
- Ensure masks have large breathable holes for the nose and mouth and are easy to remove
- Make sure costumes fit well to avoid tripping and falling
- Accessories like swords, knives, or wands should be short, blunt, malleable, and bendable
- Test face paint and makeup in a small area to test for allergic reaction
Fire — Instruct your kids to be careful around Halloween decorations, like jack-o-lanterns containing real candles, because costumes may be flammable. When shopping for a costume, look for ones made of fire-resistant material.
Bullying — The biggest threat to children on Halloween night is other children. Older kids may pick on younger ones, even if they are in a group, or try to steal their bag of candy. Keep your kids safe by accompanying them while they Trick-or-Treat.
What other Halloween safety tips do you have?
Images from OutsideOnline.com, Playborhood.com, and HalloweenCostumes.com