There’s a chill in the air. A spooky whisper on the wind. The sound of small hooved feet sneaking around the attic. The bubbling of a cauldron, the rattling of bones – everyone’s favorite day of costumes, candy and cobwebs is coming soon, and that means your kids have probably been dragging you down the costume aisle at Wal-Mart for a month or so, salivating when they see those giant bags of Twix and Snickers and trying to remember which houses in the neighborhood give the best treats.
According to the Guardian, Halloween is the third largest party day of the year – 93 percent of American kids and 68 percent of adults participate in the festivities. Because of the huge rate of adult participation, Halloween is only beaten by New Year’s Eve and Super Bowl Sunday in terms of celebration size. So, knowing that you will probably be joining your kids for trick-or-treating or perhaps throwing a costume party of your own, it is important to realize that amidst the tales of hauntings and howls of werewolves, Halloween can truly be a dangerous night.
Halloween is the third largest party day, but it is also one of the top three most dangerous holidays for kids. Children wear loose-fitting costumes that can lead to tripping. Some children’s costumes are flammable, while others render children nearly invisible. Jack o’ lanterns can lead to cuts or even fires. Many popular costumes come with swords or staves or axes or hammers – fake one, sure, but still potentially hazardous, especially to the eyes.
But none of those dangers are nearly as deadly as the number one reason children end up in the hospital on Halloween: car accidents. In fact, kids are more than twice as likely to be killed by cars on Halloween than any other night, especially when it falls on a weekend, according to Safe Kids USA.
Most accidents occur between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. – prime trick-or-treating hours. When Halloween falls on a weekend, drunk driving also becomes a major concern.
If you plan on celebrating Halloween, do your part to ensure that your child’s costume is safe, your child remains visible at all times while trick-or-treating and that you do not allow any of your friends and fellow partiers to drive after consuming alcohol.