4 trick-or-treat safety strategies: How to have a happy and healthy Halloween

As a parent, these Halloween statistics can strike fear into your heart:

  • Twice as many child pedestrians are killed walking on Halloween than on other days of the year.
  • Only 18 percent of children use reflective materials on their costumes.
  • 1 in 9 parents allows children age 5 or younger to trick-or-treat without adult supervision.*

“The Children’s Hospital of Georgia at Augusta University’s (CHOG) emergency department saw 18 patients last Halloween,” said Debi Deeder, pediatric trauma program manager at CHOG. “While we’re honored to serve the community with our pediatric emergency and trauma services, we want you and your kids to stay safe this Halloween and always.”

You can keep your little ghost safe from bumps in the night by following these four safety tips:

  1. Talk with kids about basic safety rules beforehand. These include never entering a home and waiting for mom or dad to check candy before enjoying any treats. It doesn’t hurt to review year-round rules, like not getting into a stranger’s car and looking both ways — and not at electronic devices — before crossing the street.
  2. Avoid common costume dangers. Costumes should be well-fitting and made of flame-retardant materials without extra fabric or footwear that could contribute to falls. Be sure your child can see well (especially if wearing a mask), and add reflective tape to clothing and provide a flashlight if he or she will be trick-or-treating at night. Teens should avoid novelty contact lenses unless OK’d by an eyecare professional — otherwise, they pose serious vision risks.
  3. Provide adult supervision. A responsible adult should accompany younger children, and older children should stick to familiar, well-lit areas. Arrange a designated meeting place and time with teens before they head out on their own.
  4. Drive safely. Take care to drive slowly on Halloween, taking extra time to look for kids at intersections and making turns slowly. Be on high alert between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., which is peak trick-or-treating time.

*Safe Kids Worldwide, “Halloween safety: A national survey of parents’ knowledge, attitude, and behaviors.”

The area’s only children’s hospital is here for you 24/7

If you think your child is ill or injured, don’t take a chance. Come to the emergency department, and we’ll assess your child’s health as fast as possible. For any other pediatric needs, call 706-721-KIDS (5437) to schedule an appointment or visit to learn more.

About the author

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children's Hospital of Georgia

Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the only facility in the area dedicated exclusively to children. It staffs the largest team of pediatric specialists in the region who deliver out- and in- patient care for everything from common childhood illnesses to life-threatening conditions like heart disorders, cancer and neurological diseases.