Halloween is a spooky time. Not just because of spooky webs, glowing ghosts and zombies, but because it’s a time of possible danger for your children.
Around this time of year, many scary myths rear their heads. While these myths are worthy a little consideration, they distract you from the real dangers presented on October 31st. Here are 4 myths you can let go so you can focus on protecting your child.
Myth One: Poisoned Candy
Police stations, hospitals and companies all jump on the bandwagon of protecting your children from tainted candy. This includes from razor blades in candy apples, cyanide on suckers and rat poison in Pixie Sticks. Different places offer to x-ray your child’s candy for free in order to protect them.
Yet there is very little evidence of anybody poisoning candy, and all incidents related to it last happened in the 80’s. There has been 5 major incidents relating to “candy poisoning,” yet every single child died for other reasons and not poisoned candy.
What to Watch For: Most people aren’t looking to harm children, yet even the best intentions can turn sour. Some people prefer to make baked goods for Halloween without considering allergies. Especially for gluten intolerant children. Educate your child to throw out any homemade candies or if a piece of candy looks opened, suspicious or expired.
Myth Two: Child Abductions
With tons of children running around in costumes and masks, many consider this a sexual predator’s playground. Yet, according to research, there is no correlation between Halloween and child sexual assault.
Many states even prohibit known sexual offenders from putting up decorations or answering the door to give out candy.
What to Watch For: Have your children follow the same rules they follow every other day. Don’t go into a stranger’s house or get into a stranger’s car. It’s always better safe than sorry.
While abductions are rare, children getting lost on Halloween isn’t. With many children wearing similar outfits, along with it being dark, it’s easy to lose track of a child. Let the child borrow a cell phone or tell them to shout out a code word to help you find them. After each house, make sure you have every child in your group before letting them move to the next house.
Myth Three: Bundling Up for Warmth is a Top Priority
Most costumes don’t provide much for warmth and with many regions being cold on Halloween, parents want to keep their kids warm. Now, keeping your child warm is important and isn’t a myth, but many parents take it to the extreme. By adding multiple layers, a heavy coat and then tossing their child’s Elsa cape over the top, you put your child in danger. In danger… of tripping.
What to Watch For: One of the most common injuries emergency rooms see on Halloween is from kids tripping on a cape or robe and face planting into cement.
Take the advice of Edna from The Incredibles and say “No Capes!” If they must have a cape, make it as short as possible and make sure your child can easily control it. When controlling the cape becomes an issue, skip the heavy puffy coat for a lighter thermal jacket so they can easily hold that dangerous cape.
The Biggest Danger
The biggest threat to your children’s safety is automobiles. There are very high car accident rates, and especially high pedestrian casualties. With it being a very popular party night and with children running about after dark, staying safe around cars needs to be a top priority!
Tell your children to avoid going into the street at all costs and make sure they are easily visible. Stay on streets with lots of lighting and avoid busy streets. Use clearly marked crosswalks and keep everybody on the sidewalk
Staying Safe on Halloween
The major threats to your children on Halloween are:
Make sure your child is highly visible, has a bright flashlight, an easy to manage costume, knows to stay out of the street, and has adult supervision. Be involved in their Halloween and you will be able to keep them safe.
Author Bio: Ben is a freelance writer looking to help the world be a better place. He writes on a variety of topics such as: business, careers, education, and entertainment. You can follow him on Twitter @allen24ben.