If you were thinking your trick-or-treater would be a cute “invisible kid,” think again.
By Erin Ryan Goodnow
As Halloween approaches, I’m getting excited to dress my kids up in cute little costumes, roam the neighborhood with them, and hear them say “thank you” (hopefully) after putting each fun-sized candy into their pumpkin baskets.
But the sugar rush of Halloween comes crashing down when you learn that twice as many kids are hit by cars on Oct. 31 than any other day of the year. It is the single deadliest night for child pedestrians, where 60% of accidents occurred between 5-9 p.m.—prime trick-or-treating time. It’s enough to make me want to be the Scrooge of Halloween.
“Invisible Kid” Only Makes Matters Worse
As if these statistics weren’t scary enough, a new spooky costume trend is making matters so much worse. There’s an “invisible kid” bodysuit being sold by online retailers and some costume shops that literally gives a kid the cover of darkness — meaning they cannot be seen out on the street! Ask me if I would ever let my child go trick-or-treating in an outfit like this. The answer is NO!
We teach our kids to look both ways before crossing the street and watch out for cars because the driver might not see them. But the reality is that on Halloween, most kids are too excited to remember these safety rules. They need supervision and a little help. So parents buy their kids glow-in-the-dark costumes or wristbands. And we go along with our kids because it’s safer this way, and in my experience, it’s really darn cute to watch them.
According to Sperling’s BestPlaces, most of the fatalities involve kids ages 12-15, followed by age 5-8. I imagine it’s hard to get a 13-year-old to hold his or her parent’s hand while crossing the street, but that kid would also be old enough to remember to watch out for cars and would also want to cross the street with the teenage mob, right? There’s safety in numbers, so it’s ok to follow the crowd in this scenario.
Have fun — but keep your kids safe on Halloween
Other easy safety tips for walking your neighborhood on Halloween include:
- Use crosswalks to cross the street
- Always walk on sidewalks, facing traffic
- Walk, don’t run, across the street
But I fear these rules and tips wouldn’t be enough to really save the “invisible kid” crossing the street on Halloween night. I would hope that retailors would realize the danger posed by this costume and stop selling it, but plenty of trick-or-treaters probably already have it waiting in their closet.
Costumes don’t have to be expensive. Buy another costume or make a new homemade one that isn’t so dangerous. Halloween night is terrifying for lots of fun reasons, and a few serious ones. Let’s eliminate this costume and make Halloween a little less scary for our kids.