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Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year

Lenore Skenazy is famous or infamous (depending on your point of view) for allowing her 9-year old son to travel New York City subways alone and advocating letting children play unsupervised at parks. In a recent column in The Wall Street Journal, she argued that parental fears about Halloween are overrated. There has never been a single incident of poisoned candy being handed out to trick-or-treaters, and no evidence that the day is less safe for children than any other day of the year:

But Elizabeth Letourneau, an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, studied crime statistics from 30 states and found, "There is zero evidence to support the idea that Halloween is a dangerous date for children in terms of child molestation."

In fact, she says, "We almost called this paper, 'Halloween: The Safest Day of the Year,' because it was just so incredibly rare to see anything happen on that day."

Why is it so safe? Because despite our mounting fears and apoplectic media, it is still the day that many of us, of all ages, go outside. We knock on doors. We meet each other. And all that giving and taking and trick-or-treating is building the very thing that keeps us safe: community.


Link via Hit & Run | Photo by Flickr user bmendz68 used under Creative Commons license

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