Halloween is a holiday full of fun for kids of all ages and also full of hidden dangers. Young children are excited about the costume and the candy, worried only about how quickly they can get from house to house for their next treat.
For parents, keeping their kids safe is their main concern. Statistics show, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween versus any other day of the year. There is also pumpkin carving, trips and falls, costume malfunctions, stranger danger and candy tampering to watch out for.
What parents need to do to keep their kids safe on Halloween is mostly common sense, but even adults with no children or grown children need to watch out for the little ghouls and goblins trick-or-treating on this night. All adults can benefit from reading these tips to make sure their child or someone else’s is safe from danger while still having fun.
Before leaving to trick-or-treat:
- Eat a good meal so kids won’t want as much candy.
- Wear light colored costumes or add reflective tape.
- Make sure masks fit well and do not limit eyesight or eliminate them entirely and opt for makeup.
- Costumes should fit in a way to prevent trips and falls, as well as being flame resistant.
- Props, such as swords, canes or sticks, should be flexible and not too sharp or too long.
- Don’t forget to pay attention to footwear.
- Tape your name and telephone number on the inside of your child’s costume.
- Children under 12 should be supervised.
- Use flashlights with fresh batteries or glow sticks.
- Stay in groups and visit familiar areas that are well lit.
- Use sidewalks and walk, don’t run.
- Use crosswalks when possible and look before crossing the street. Never assume vehicles will stop.
- Don’t walk through alleys or cut across lawns.
- Visit homes with a light. Never enter a home or car for a treat.
- Remind children 13 and older, going out on their own, to dial 911 if they get lost or have an emergency.
Driving on Halloween:
- Drive slowly and safely.
- Take extra time to look for pedestrians.
- Enter and exit driveways carefully.
Halloween at home:
- Keep sidewalks and steps clear for trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure your walkway and entry are well lit.
- Restrain or remove your pets. Even well-behaved pets are sometimes unpredictable and protective of their family on Halloween.
- Consider buying non-treats to give out, such as crayons, coloring books, stickers, erasers, dried fruits, pencils or coins.
- Check and sort treats at home. Throw away candy with wrappers that are torn or have holes, spoiled items and home-made treats from strangers.
- Ration treats after Halloween.
- Children should never carve pumpkins. Let them use markers to draw the face that their parents will cut out.
- Line the floor with newspaper for easy clean-up. Promptly remove after carving to prevent slips, trips and falls.
- Use hands, ice cream scoops or spoons to remove pumpkin guts.
- Skip regular candles and use glow sticks or flameless candles for your jack-o-lanterns instead.
By taking a little extra time, parents can make Halloween safe for their kids and have fun with them too.