Experts give safety tips for trick or treaters

Partents should avoid costumes that include sharp objects, limit vision

By Scott Johnson - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Tens of millions of children will take to the streets across the country Monday for trick-or-treating, but the annual event comes with some risk.

An estimated 30 to 40 million children will trick or treat on Halloween, and the goal is for all the children to have fun, but every year, hospitals see children show up.

With so many children on the streets, some medical experts discuss the real threats to children on Halloween. Dr. Marie Crandall, with UF Health, and Chad McIntyre, with Trauma One, said cars are what children need to watch out for the most.

“The biggest risk by far is being hit by a car,” Crandall said. “So every year three or four children are struck and killed by motor vehicles. So the thing I want to emphasize is safety. Kids should always go out with a responsible adult wearing reflective clothing.”

Crandall and McIntyre also point to the types of costumes children wear as a big reason why kids go the hospital. They warn that costumes with loose fabric sometimes catch on fire if children are around things like candles. They also said masks and anything that limits a child’s ability to see are not suggested, and parents should avoid costumes with sharp items.

“There are sharp objects in particular in pirate costumes or swords for 'Star Wars' costumes,” Crandall said. “Another big risk is eye injuries, and you don’t want to wear an eye patch after Halloween.”

We also asked about dangerous things put in candy. They said that’s not a huge threat, but parents should always look at every piece of candy a child brings home.

“Most of that information that came out when we were kids was debunked,” McIntyre said. “I know we always heard about stuff like candy with marijuana, but most of that candy is for adults.”

Find something reflective to give your children, such as glow-in-the-dark bracelets, or reflective necklaces, something that makes children stand out to cars.

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