Statement issued Wednesday:
INDIANAPOLIS – Halloween is known for scary costumes, houses and activities, but when it comes to trick-or-treating, Riley Hospital for Children wants to make sure your little ghosts and goblins stay safe this holiday.
Riley Hospital doctors say falls are the most common type of Halloween youth-related injury. As a result, they advise children to avoid long or baggy costumes which might cause them to trip or fall.
Equally important, children should stick to sidewalks and cross over streets at intersections to avoid darting around cars. According to Safe Kids USA, twice as many children are killed while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year. Just because a child can see a car, doesn’t mean the driver can see them. Drivers are advised to slow down and keep their eyes open for darting children.
While some safety tips are more common sense, doctors encourage parents to be on the lookout for the unexpected.
“A lot of people don’t realize how flammable some children’s costumes can be,” said Robert Collins, M.D., medical director of Emergency Services at Riley Hospital. “Every year, I care for children whose costumes catch fire from lit jack-o’-lanterns. Costumes and other accessories should be made of flame-resistant materials, such as nylon or polyester, and jack-o-lanterns need to be kept in places where children are not likely to bump into them.”
Other ways to keep trick-or-treaters safe this holiday include:
- Costumes should be easily seen; look for bright colors or add reflective tape/material.
- Children should eat dinner or a snack before trick-or-treating so they won’t get tempted to munch on candy throughout the evening.
- Parents should inspect all candy and never let children eat unwrapped candy.
- Parents whose children suffer from peanut allergies should ensure candy does not contain even trace amounts of peanut and they should also carry an epinephrine auto-injector, such as an EpiPen.
- Trick or treat in the early evening hours and only approach houses that have the porch light on.
- Do not cut across lawns to get to other houses.
- Parents should accompany all children who are trick-or-treating.
- Do not enter houses of people you do not know.
- Neighborhoods should consider holding Halloween parties or get-togethers for children and teens to keep them in a safer environment.
- Pin a slip of paper with your child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case they get separated from the group.