On Your Health

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Tips to Have a Safe Halloween

Halloween should be enjoyed by everyone. The eyes of kids and adults alike can’t help but sparkle with anticipation as candy fills the aisles at local grocery stores, but keeping your family safe during door-to-door adventures should be your top priority. 

According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to get hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. Less serious injuries and trips to the emergency room from costume mishaps are common, too.

Allergies are something else to consider on Halloween, since one in 13 children in the U.S. is affected by food allergies. Eight ingredients — milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish — cause 90 percent of reactions and are often present in Halloween treats.

While accidents can happen, creating a safe environment and doing a little advance planning can significantly reduce the chances of your Halloween festivities having a mishap.

Tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating

Gathering candy and treats from your neighbors is a highlight of the fall season. If you and your children use these tips from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone can feel a little safer when they are accumulating their Halloween haul.

  • Make sure all costume accessories – including swords and knives — are soft and flexible.
  • Stay in groups and always have an adult chaperone for children.
  • Add reflective tape to your gear to help others see you.
  • Evaluate everything for choking hazards and allergens before eating.
  • Don’t eat anything not wrapped in a factory (unless you know who made it and it’s been approved to eat by a parent or guardian).
  • Always walk, never run, from house to house with a flashlight.
  • Always test makeup on a small facial area for skin reactions before applying all over.
  • Look both ways before crossing any street and never cut through alleys or yards.
  • Use crosswalks and sidewalks instead of the street whenever possible.
  • Don’t wear decorative contact lenses with your costume as they can damage eyes and obscure vision.
  • Wear flame-resistant costumes and stay away from candles.
  • Make sure all costume parts fit well to avoid tripping, falling and obscured vision.
  • Don’t go inside anyone’s house or car unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Make sure to review your family’s emergency protocol before heading out. Does everyone know how to contact 911 in an emergency? If they don’t remember, you should refresh everyone’s memory.

It’s a good idea to make sure each member of your group knows the full name, address and phone number of their parent or guardian, in case of an accident or separation. Sharing this info on an index card can help in situations with children too young to remember.

You might want to add glow sticks to costumes or treat bags to assist with costume visibility. This can keep children from getting separated from their groups while also helping drivers see young pedestrians on the prowl for treats.

It’s imperative that all trick-or-treaters remember to keep cell phones and other electronic devices put away while out and about on Halloween night. Looking at a phone and walking could cause someone to end up in a ditch or in front of a moving car.

kids trick or treating

Popular areas to trick-or-treat 

Cleveland – Between NW 23rd St. and continuing north to NW 30th St. and from Villa west to May.

Crestwood – Across NW 23rd St. from the Cleveland area is Crestwood. It stretches south to NW 16th St. between Villa and May.

Miller – South of NW 16th St. and north of NW 10th St. between Villa and May is the Miller neighborhood.

Linwood Place – This neighborhood run south of NW 23rd St. to NW 16th St., and east of NW Grand Blvd. to N. Drexel Blvd.

Putnam Heights – This area runs from NW 35th St. north toward NW 38th St. It is bordered by N. Georgia Ave. and N. Blackwelder to the west, and by N. Classen Blvd. on the east.

Heritage Hills – This historic neighborhood covers the area from NW 13th St. north to NW 21st St. and from N. Walker east to N. Robinson.

Crown Heights – This neighborhood covers the area east of N. Shartel to N. Walker and between NW 36th St. north to NW 39th St.

Edgemere Park – Named after the park the neighborhood encompasses, it spans  NW 30th St. north to NW 36th St. and is between N. Walker and N. Robinson.

Mesta Park – This historic neighborhood hugs Heritage Hills to the west and north, runs along NW 23rd St. from N. Western to N. Robinson, then continues south to NW 16th St. between N. Western and N. Walker.

Nichols Hills – This L-shaped neighborhood lies north of NW 63rd St. The eastern border is N. Western until you reach W. Wilshire Blvd., then the eastern border runs along Waverly Ave. The northern border of the neighborhood is either Westminster Pl. or Kenilworth Rd. Several side streets make up the western edge of the neighborhood, including N. Country Club Dr., Greystone Ave., and Dorset Dr.

Treats for kids with food allergies

It’s not only safe, but also kind, to have treats available for children who have food allergies. While you’re buying candy at the store, simply grab a few non-edible treats like small coloring books, bouncy balls, Halloween stickers, etc. and add them to your Halloween giveaways. That way any trick-or-treaters who are affected by food allergies are included in the fun.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a nationwide movement to raise awareness about food allergies during Halloween. If you have allergy-safe items to share, simply drop a teal pumpkin on your porch or at the end of your driveway to alert your neighbors to your participation.

If trudging through neighborhoods isn’t your thing, there are plenty of safe alternatives you can plan to enjoy and still feel festive. You can even find a list of fall, harvest, and Halloween events in our blog post, “Fabulous Family Fun This Fall.”