Is Halloween Dangerous?
We've all heard the stories about razor blades slipped into caramel apples and candy that's been poisoned, but incidents like that are so rare, do we really need to worry about our little goblins trick or treating on Halloween? Most of us would agree that we would rather be safe than sorry when it comes to our precious children regardless of what the statistics say, and trick or treat safety can be simple and fun, so get ready for some haunting with these Halloween safety facts.
Halloween Crime Statistics
Some research shows that there are tricks as well as treats on Halloween, and crime rates are slightly increased compared to ordinary nights. Much of that is due to pranks, parties and pumpkin smashing. Depending on the area that you live in, there also seems to be a slightly higher rate of more serious crimes such as intoxicated driving, vandalism, burglary and arson. However, there is also research that shows that despite media hype and parental worries, the risk of a trick or treater encountering a child predator or a sex offender is not significantly higher on Halloween than any other day of the year. While that is somewhat reassuring, there are certainly still risks, and every community will benefit from an increased police presence and proper precautions being taken by holiday revelers.
In fact, the biggest worry on Halloween is how many children are out and about on the streets at dusk and dark. Statistics show that there is an increased risk of vehicle-pedestrian accidents, especially in the evening hours when most trick or treaters are darting about the neighborhood full of sugar. Parental supervision is key to avoid these types of accidents, so familiarize your children with a few simple Halloween safety tips to make sure that everyone fills their goodie bags safely.
Halloween Safety Tips
- Never allow children to go trick or treating alone. Older children can go with a group of friends, the larger the better. Younger children must be accompanied by a parent or trusted adult.
- If older children are going to go it alone, agree on a route and a curfew ahead of time, and then allow the children to carry a cell phone in case of an emergency.
- Trick or treat only in familiar areas. Streets that have sidewalks, good lighting and lots of other people around are best.
- Never allow your children to enter any person's home while trick or treating unless they have your specific permission.
- Make sure your kids have a flashlight or a glow stick so that they are easily visible to traffic.
- Check your treats before eating them. Make sure all candy is properly wrapped and shows no signs of tampering. Though threats in treats are rare, it's best to err on the side of caution.
- Consider an alternative to traditional trick or treating by taking your children to an event sponsored by a local mall, shopping center, school or church.
If you and your kids follow these basic and easy Halloween rules, you won't have to freak out about anything other than black cats and haunted houses. Enjoy this special time with your children as you celebrate a fun and safe Halloween.