If you’re exhausted by the very idea of trying to keep your kids safe on the spookiest of nights, then this post is for you! It’s an understandable anxiety. Between the chilly weather, exposure to strangers and tons of other kids, not to mention the frightening news stories, Halloween can become a quite real nightmare for parents.
But it’s not quite as bad as all that. A lot of the danger of Halloween is hyped up thanks to viral news that, well, is mostly incorrect. There are some safety concerns you should think about, but they have more to do with traffic safety and much less to do with razor blades in candy bars.
Let’s spend a little time debunking first. Safety myths abound during Halloween — there’s a lot of misinformation out there looking to warn you about the dangers of child abusers and sadists who become more active on Halloween.
On the surface, it makes a sort of weird sense. Predators might jump on the opportunity presented by kids running about the streets at night. But, thankfully, the stats don’t support an increase in crimes against children over the holiday. In addition, most of the news stories you’ve heard about nasty things like blades or poison in candy were, in actuality, injuries caused by previous conditions, accidents, and, very sadly, family members. For hygiene’s sake, it’s still a good idea not to let your kids eat anything that isn’t in its original package or wrapping.
Precautions to Actually Take
So you don’t have to worry so much about strangers with sadistic tendencies, but there are still some increased risks over the holidays. The number of auto accidents involving pedestrians does increase, partly due to a spike in drunk driving. It’s a time of year to be extra-cautious about street crossing, and to make sure you and your kids can be seen. Carrying flashlights, wearing something reflective over dark costumes, and reiterating all the road safety tips you already give your kids are all important steps to reduce the risk of accidents.
Other types of accidental injuries occur on Halloween too, such as sports and play injuries, tripping over costumes, and perhaps most importantly accidental fires. Open flames are often a part of Halloween festivities. Jack-o-lanterns and mood candles contribute to Halloween’s position as the fourth most active day of the year for home candle fires. Consider using LED lights instead, and if you do have an open flame, never leave it unattended.
Halloween and the days after can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to controlling the sugar intake of your little ones. Not to mention all the bulk candy deals throughout the month and into November. Rather than trying too hard to restrict the candy intake, which can sometimes backfire, it can be a good idea to embrace the treats and make them at home. It’s a fun activity, and it gives you at least some control over what’s getting scarfed down. You can sneak all sorts of nutritious food into baked treats. It’s a great time of year for pumpkins, and they’re full of nutrients. With the right recipes, like these Halloween pumpkin cupcakes, you can get the kids eating whole grains while controlling the type and amount of sugar going into their tummies. That way everyone wins! The kids get yummies to eat, and you’re at least getting something nutritious into them. Even chocolate cakes are less terrible than sweets based on pure sugar.
In the end, though, I wouldn’t worry too much unless your kids have issues with blood sugar. In which case, you probably have plans in place long before the day itself. You might want to make sure that your dog doesn’t get hold of any of the treats though as some can be toxic to dogs.
Overall, the kinds of things that deserve worrying about over the holidays have more to do with your own parenting instincts than wild stories about the darkest depths of human cruelty. So focus on the fun, get to crafting and making everything spooky. Just pay a little extra attention to the kinds of accidents that happen around the holidays.