Witches, zombies and goblins might seem scary to your child, but Halloween can be a frightening holiday in other ways as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kids are more likely to be injured or killed by traffic on Halloween than any other day of the year. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that between 2006 and 2010, more pedestrians younger than 21 were killed by cars on Oct. 31 than on Oct. 30 or Nov. 1.
One way to increase visibility is to have your children carry a flashlight or glow stick, wear glow-in-the-dark necklaces or add reflective tape to costumes.
"When choosing a costume, visibility is key," said Casey Davis, McKay-Dee Hospital child life specialist.
Davis said to check out your costume in a darker room. Can you see it very well? If not, add some reflective tape to the costume. It's cheap and quite effective.
Be sure masks, hoods, wigs and other headgear don't obstruct vision.
"If a mask is part of your child's costume, cut holes big enough so they can not only see forward clearly but peripherally as well," Davis said. "Make sure your kids know to look both ways when crossing the street, to use a sidewalk when available, and when not available, they need to walk facing traffic on the shoulder of the road."
There are other reasons children end up in the emergency room as well. Falls from costumes dragging on the ground, burns from hot candles and fire pits, cuts from carving a pumpkin and overindulging in too much candy are all on the list.
So when it comes to Halloween, local experts have several tips that will help ensure a healthy, happy, hospital-free holiday.
Know your older child's planned route and always have an adult accompany smaller children, Davis said. Troublemakers are less likely to harass trick-or-treaters if they have an adult with them.
"It's good for children to have a healthy level of 'stranger danger' awareness, but now a lot of abuse comes from perpetrators who are known to the child and family," Davis said. "Halloween is a good excuse to talk about abuse from both strangers and people you know."
Supervise anything that is burning. Candles used with decorations or to light pumpkins can cause a fire, especially if other items are nearby.
Eating candy on Halloween is fun, but according to Ogden Regional Medical Center's Halloween blog, one quarter of all candy sold in the U.S. is for Halloween and that can lead to upset stomachs and a trip to the dentist.
Make sure your kids are full from a healthy meal before they head out the door to collect treats.
Once they get home, be sure to check the candy to make sure it hasn't been tampered with in any way, and encourage your children not to eat it all at once.
"Of course there is the age-old rule not to eat anything that has been unwrapped or that is homemade, but these days, childhood obesity is much more rampant than poisoned candy," Davis said.
One last tidbit from the Utah Department of Health: Watch for smokeless tobacco products masquerading as candy. The packaging designs and a host of candy-like flavors -- such as chocolate, grape and peach -- make it easy to mistake smokeless tobacco products for gum, mints and candy.
"Attractive packaging and added flavors are marketing tactics used to gloss over tobacco's harmful effects and make it more appealing," said Amy Oliver, marketing manager for the Utah Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. "These products are designed to recruit new users from our local youth."
Oliver said smokeless tobacco has more nicotine than cigarettes and carries a serious risk for cancer and other health problems.