Trick or Treating has been a bit different lately, but one thing has stayed the same — Halloween can present many dangers.
According to a State Farm analysis, children are twice as likely to die on Halloween than any other day of the year as they trick-or-treat along the streets. The study showed that more than a quarter of these deaths occurred between 6 and 7 p.m. in the middle of the block, not near a crosswalk or intersection.
“Children look forward to Halloween all year long. It’s an exciting day for them,” said Emergency Department Director Paul Karagiannis, MD. “However, there are many dangers out that start in the street while trick-or-treating.”
The combination of children running the streets collecting candy, and adults leaving parties after drinking alcohol, causes a large percentage of these fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Costumes should have reflective tape and children should carry flashlights or glow sticks, and trick-or-treaters should never go out alone. Parental supervision is imperative.
In addition to these top two dangers of Halloween, here are several other potentially scary situations:
- Food allergies — Many children have allergies to certain foods.
- Fire hazard — Candles, jack-o-lanterns, and bonfires can become deadly if loose-fitting costumes come in contact with the flames.
- Sharp objects — Carving the jack-o-lantern is the leading cause of injury on Halloween, accounting for nearly half of all Halloween-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Costume complications — Ill-fitting costumes can cause tripping and falling. Masks with poorly cut eye holes, long pants, skirts, or the traditional ghost sheet, and unusual footwear can cause a variety of accidents.
- Dental damage — Sticky candies such as caramels, taffy, gummies and candy coating on apple taffies can adhere to fillings and pull them out. The sticky candy also stays on and in between teeth longer which can contribute to cavities.