Spooky: The real safety concerns for Halloween

Posted: 8:14 AM, Oct 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-31 08:14:58-04

Halloween is supposed to be scary, but in a fun way.

After years of horrifying stories, it’s easy to be scared for the wrong reasons. Police in Troy told 7 Action News that a lot of the myths of Halloween are just that, myths.

“We’ve never had an incident like that,” said Sgt. Meghan Lehman, talking about poisoned candy, or needles found inside treats. “it’s not a major concern, I mean it definitely doesn’t hurt for a parent to check what your kids have, but we’ve never had an incident like that.”

The same goes for talks of predators targeting children on Halloween. Sgt. Lehman said the key is to make sure children are being watched by an adult. If they’re old enough to go out alone they need to be aware of how to interact with strangers, and realize that they should never go inside a home — beyond that, the real threats of Halloween are more simplistic things we often overlook.

“The biggest danger to kids on Halloween is vehicles,” said Sgt. Lehman. “You don’t want to get hit by a car, obviously, you want to be seen.”

That’s why safety experts recommend that your child has reflective surfaces on their costume, lights, or both.

Another threat is how the costume comes together — masks can obscure vision, so a lot of parents opt for face paint, but it’s important to watch labels.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report from 2016 roughly 20-percent of the Halloween makeup they tests had lead in it, nearly 30-percent had cadmium.

“Toxic chemicals in kids’ face paints and makeup is pretty scare,” said Janet Nudelman, Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. “We need safer products and smarter laws so everyone will be protected from unsafe chemicals in the cosmetics and personal care products we use every day, and this is doubly true for kids.”

Another concern: color contacts — lenses that are improperly fitted can cause real vision problems from an infection to loss of sight. If it’s not an FDA-approved vendor it’s likely your best bet to move on.

Sgt. Lehman said what you carry can be cause for concern too, especially if you’re a commando, or some sort of figure that carries a gun.

“We recommend not carrying a fake weapon, but if you do make sure it’s very fake like a free, blue, or yellow,” said Sgt. Lehamn. “Obviously you don’t want it to look like the real thing.”