Controversial petition demands Halloween is moved to a 'safer' date

Elise Solé
A Change.org petition argues that kids would be safer if Halloween fell on a weekend. (Photo: Getty Images)

Change.org petition to President Trump asking to move Halloween to a “safer” date is resurfacing, reaping more than 78,000 signatures to date.

The petition was written last year by the Halloween & Costume Association (HCA) and has recently gained additional support. “It's time for a Safer, Longer, Stress-Free Celebration! Let's move Halloween to the last Saturday of October!” it reads, bargaining for the holiday to fall on the weekend and during the day.

The document includes unsourced statistic such as, there are “800 Halloween-related injuries each year,” adding that 70 percent of parents don’t go trick-or-treating with their children, 63 percent of kids don’t carry flashlights for nighttime visibility, and 65 percent of parents don’t provide safety measures to their children.

“51% Of Millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday, why cram it into 2 rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day!?” reads the petition.

Parents who signed wrote, “Every year it’s a struggle to balance work and school while trying to enjoy Halloween with our kids” and “...I would like the opportunity to enjoy a full day of festivities with my children without having to rush home after work/school.”

The proposition also has people saying that the idea is “stupid” and would destroy tradition.

Aneisha McMillan of the HCA tells Yahoo Lifestyle that while the group’s mission remains, the publicity has inspired some revisions.

“...We have listened to all of the feedback since the petition started and view this as an opportunity to truly honor and celebrate what this season should be,” says McMillan. “We see Halloween in the U.S. as an opportunity to unite rather than divide. So, while we still believe an end-of-October Saturday celebration will promote safety and increase the fun, this year, we will be launching a national initiative designed to enhance the Halloween that we all know and love while uniting our people. Our plan is to add an additional day of celebration instead of changing the date American's celebrate Halloween and in doing so we will be bringing more people together.”

A press release for HCA’s new campaign will be released next week.

Safety should be taken seriously on October 31. A study by Safe Kids Worldwide found that “twice as many kids are killed while walking on Halloween than any other day of the year” and per the journal JAMA, kids between the ages of 4 to 8 are vulnerable to increased fatalities on this date. Costumes can compromise vision or make treat-or-treaters less discernible, and excitement can cloud judgment.

But other data suggests that parents are more involved on Halloween: A 2011 report by Safe Kids Worldwide found that 75 percent of parents would never allow their children (below the age of 12) to trick-or-treat without supervision and 79 percent have armed their children with safety tips before trick-or-treating.

Moving Halloween is unlikely, historian Kenneth C. Davis told CBS News last year when the petition first took off. That’s because Halloween is an observance, not a federal holiday. "It's very expensive for the federal government to declare a federal holiday," said Davis. "So I don't see any time soon a new holiday for Halloween."

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