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Halloween is supposed to be a spooky experience. Unfortunately, this scary holiday can turn into a real nightmare for some families. This year, make sure to take the right steps to keep your kids safe and out of the ER. Avoid these surprising Halloween hazards.
Cars — The Number One Danger
Forget about razor blades hidden in apples — as always, cars are a much more realistic hazard. Kids are more than twice as likely to be killed in a car accident on Halloween than at any other night of the year! Children who are out Trick or Treating should always be supervised by responsible adults for many reasons, of course. But even under your watchful eye, things can get really scary if you walk on the road in the dark. Trick or Treating encourages crossing the road all the time.
What can you do to keep everyone safe? Make sure your costumes are clearly visible to drivers by applying reflective tape or wearing those yellow reflective waistcoats, and don't let the excitement of the night become an excuse to ignore road safety rules. For this reason, you should think more than twice before allowing teenagers to take younger children.
You can also use Halloween as a great reason to discuss staying safe while participating in traffic as a pedestrian. Only cross the road where and when it's allowed, and still make sure there are no oncoming cars.
Halloween Fire Hazards
Those jack-o-lanterns are creepy and cute, and an essential part of the Halloween atmosphere for most families. Candles actually pose less of a fire risk than most people believe, if a few simple rules are followed. Tea lights are the least dangerous candles around, while long candle sticks can fall easily and should be avoided unless you are constantly watching them.
By placing tea lights on a flat, stable surface without flammable items anywhere near, you have already minimized the risk of fire. The next step is to make sure your jack-o-lanterns are not in a place where people, including kids who may come to Trick or Treat at your house, can knock them over. Having candles on your porch is generally a bad idea for that reason.
Flammable Halloween costumes
Flammable Halloween costumes represent the other major fire hazard. Resist the temptation to buy your kids one of those 100 percent polyester costumes (usually made in China), even though they can be really cute. Find or sew costumes made from cotton to keep your kids and yourself safe. Also avoid costumes in which large bits of fabric flying about. There is a good chance your kids will encounter homes that are less aware about preventing fires than you are with candles on their porch.