What should we fear most on Halloween night?


Seth WhiteCrane, Staff Reporter

With harmless ghosts and goblins running around each year, it’s easy to forget that some things really are scary, namely, Halloween and how it affects children and consistently puts them in real danger. Parents, siblings, and the community at large should be aware of these dangers and be working to prevent harm to the youth.

The Real Dangers of Halloween:

Although it is has been disproved that there are people who hand out razor blades and poisoned candies, children can still get hurt while trick or treating. Adults and teens accompanying children should be aware of their surroundings and watch for tripping hazards, cars, and neighborhood dogs. Safe Kids USA, an organization dedicated to protecting the youth, reports that children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween than any other night.

The Psychological Effect of Halloween:

Along with the physical dangers, Halloween may also be too scary for younger children. If a child is preschool age or younger, a Halloween scare may have traumatizing and long-lasting effects. Young children may not be able to tell the difference between a real life threatening situation and simple Halloween fun. Pennsylvania State psychologist Cindy Dell Clark has studied the effect of Halloween on young children and has found that they might not enjoy the festivities as much as older people. “Children see things on a real plane, as opposed to adults, who are trying to get around real themes like death by treating them as fun.” Make sure kids know that the frightening things they see aren’t real, and if they aren’t ready for Halloween yet, there’s always next year.

What We Can Do to Keep Children Safe:

Halloween dangers to children can easily be prevented with a little help from their parents or older siblings. To protect from trips and falls, Halloween costumes shouldn’t be baggy or over-sized. Any masks or face paint shouldn’t inhibit children’s ability to see or breathe, so make sure there are sufficient eye and breathing holes. Children should always look both ways and cross with an adult to avoid being run over; bring flashlights, glow sticks, and add reflective tape to children’s costumes so they can be easily seen by any passing cars. If you remember to practice safety, every Halloween will be great fun for all involved.