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Halloween Safety Tips

Date: October 17, 2014 Categories: Blog

Halloween is fun and exciting, especially for children. In the chaos, however, it is easy to forget about personal safety. Some suggestions are listed below for a safe, happy Halloween.

Go with your children. If you can’t, have another trusted adult go. Children should stay in the adults’ line of sight and should know not to go into a stranger’s house or even approach a stranger’s home for treats, unless the adult is with them and gives permission.

Put a plastic jack-o-lantern, or other light-up decoration, on your dashboard to make your car more recognizable to your child, so they don’t get in the wrong car. Tell children they should never get into a stranger’s car. If someone stops them, asks for help, or offers candy, they should scream loudly and get away.

While most concerns about strangers tampering with candy have been debunked, it is still wise to serve kids a filling meal before trick-or-treating, so they won’t be as tempted to eat candy before they get home.

Traffic is a major Halloween safety risk. Darkness reduces visibility, children are often in the streets and some costumes are dark. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Children should:
• Cross at corners or crosswalks.
• Obey traffic signals.
• Look both directions for cars.
• Take the hand of younger children when crossing streets.
• Carry a flashlight, light stick and/or have reflective tape on costumes. If children carry a flashlight, tell them not to shine it in a driver’s eyes, as this can temporarily blind drivers.

Drivers should:
• Pay extra attention, particularly to crosswalks, intersections and the side of the road. Kids may also cut across the street at unpredictable places.
• Stay below the speed limit in residential areas during trick-or-treating hours.
• Refrain from passing cars that are stopped in the middle of the street, as they may be dropping off kids.
• Pull over to a safe spot and turn on hazard lights to alert other motorists when picking up or dropping off kids.
• Leave hazard lights on so that other drivers can see your car, if going door to door with kids.

Costumes should:
• Be flame retardant.
• Not involve high heels or long dangling pieces that may trip kids.
• Have masks that allow children to use their peripheral vision and breathe freely – if they do not, parents should cut bigger holes in the mask.
• Only include props with tips that are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.
• Include makeup that was pre-tested on its wearer – apply a small amount on the arm of the person who will be wearing it for about thirty minutes a couple of days in advance. If a rash, redness, swelling, or other signs of irritation develop, it could be a sign of an allergy or adverse reaction.

Teenagers going out with friends should advise parents where they are going, when they will be home and who they are going with. Advise teens to stay in well lit areas with lots of people around. If they are going to a friend’s home, the phone number should be provided and the parents should meet.

Some towns set curfews for trick-or-treating, for the safety of children and convenience of people handing out candy. Stick to curfew times and areas with a lot of homes so kids can get in as much trick-or-treating as possible.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!