Is Halloween scarier than we realized? A look at the most common Halloween injuries
Halloween has a reputation of being the spookiest night of the year. Among the excitement of exploring the neighborhood in the dark of night, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential injury risk on Halloween. These statistics may make you realize just how scary Halloween is for some families. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and State Farm, Halloween ranks as 1 of the most dangerous days for children walking outside. By getting to know the risks and most common Halloween injuries, we can better prepare ourselves to avoid an accident on fright night.
The below chart is from the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ study on Epidemiology of Pediatric Holiday-Related Injuries Presenting to US Emergency Departments. The study states that Halloween is one of the top 4 holidays involving the greatest number of injuries. Children under 5 are at a higher risk of injury, and the face, head, and fingers or hands are the mostly commonly injured body parts on Halloween.
- Increased Risk on Halloween: Halloween is statistically more dangerous than almost every other day of the year for children walking around outside. In 2012, State Farm conducted a study that revealed Halloween as the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrian accidents. On average, there are 5.5 child pedestrian fatalities annually on Halloween.
- Using Phones Increases TBI Risk: Using your phone while walking on the street can be dangerous and increase the risk of accidents, including TBIs. Distractions like texting or browsing can lead to collisions and falls, especially when children are eager to collect their Halloween treats.
- Head Injury Prevalence: Emergency departments across the United States have reported that nearly 1 in 5 children and teens with Halloween-related injuries involved head injuries. This highlights the importance of protecting the head during Halloween activities.
Protecting Against TBIs on Halloween
- Wear a Helmet: One of the most effective ways to protect against head injuries is by wearing a helmet. If you or your child have had prior TBIs or are at risk, consider incorporating a helmet into your Halloween costume. It can be seamlessly integrated into various costumes, such as a bicyclist, motorcyclist, fireman, construction worker, astronaut, or football player. This precautionary measure can make a significant difference in reducing the risk of TBI.
- Supervise and Educate: Parents and guardians should supervise young children during Halloween activities, especially when crossing streets or walking in unfamiliar neighborhoods. Teach kids about the importance of looking both ways before crossing, staying on sidewalks, and avoiding distractions like smartphones.
- Choose Safe Costume Accessories: Opt for costume accessories that do not obstruct vision or pose tripping hazards. Masks should provide clear visibility, and costume props should be lightweight and soft to prevent injury upon impact.
- Stay Visible: Enhance visibility by incorporating reflective elements into costumes or carrying glow sticks or flashlights. Drivers will have a better chance of spotting you and your children in the dark.
It’s not just a rumor. Halloween is actually more dangerous than almost any other night of the year when we look at the statistics. From heightened excitement and increased distractions to wild costume accessories, injuries are no stranger to Halloween. The alarming statistics on Halloween-related accidents, particularly those involving children, should serve as a reminder to take precautionary measures. Whether it’s wearing a helmet, staying vigilant, or choosing safe costume accessories, these steps can make a significant difference in ensuring a safe and enjoyable Halloween for all. Remember, safety should always be a top priority, even during the spookiest of nights.