15 Helpful Tips for a Safe and Spooky Halloween
Kids love Halloween, mainly because they get to pester neighbors for free candy. When it is time for trick-or-treating, one of the most important things parents can do is teach their children the safety tips that help keep the night fun. A parent or responsible adult can supervise young children, but older children who are taking off on their own for the first time need to understand a few rules.
Choose a Bright, Reflective Costume
Costumes that are dark and offer low visibility for cars create a major hazard. If the costume is dark, put reflective tape on the front and back to help cars notice the child.
Use Non-Toxic Makeup Instead of Masks
Halloween masks create limited visibility, which in turn creates health hazards. Use non-toxic makeup instead of masks for better visibility.
Never Enter a Car or Home for a Treat
Teach children that they are never to enter a car or home for a treat. Some homes offer a haunted house to walk through, and unless the child is with a responsible adult or the house is someone they know, they should avoid the excursion.
Stay on Well Lit Streets
When trick-or-treating, look for streets that offer good lighting. Avoid dark alleys or streets that do not offer any streetlights for the safest night out.
Use the Sidewalk
Use the sidewalk, if available. If a sidewalk is unavailable, walk in areas that offer good visibility and little-to-no traffic.
Pay Attention to Street Signs and Signals
Street signs and signals need to be followed, even when trick-or-treating. Use crosswalks, wait for crossing signals, and avoid following crowds that are not following the rules.
Stick to Curfew
It may seem like a good idea to stay out a little later than the scheduled curfew, but it is not. Homes shut their lights off and people begin to disappear from the streets at a designated stop time, so that means it is time to head home.
Stay in a Group
Trick-or-treating is never as much fun alone as it is in a group. If your child is going out on their own for trick-or-treating, make sure they have a group of friends with them.
Examine Treats for Choking Hazards
Before any candy is consumed, a parent should inspect it for choking hazards. Young trick-or-treaters should have any small hard candies removed from their bags, as well as any suckers that do not offer the safety stick.
Avoid Homemade Treats
Every child comes home with a ball of homemade caramel corn, or a plastic wrapped homemade browning in their bag at the end of the night. When a child receives a homemade treat, check to see where it came from. If it is from a home that you know, keep the treat; if not, throw it out.
Look for Flame Resistant Costumes and Accessories
Candles and lanterns light the lanes and driveways of many homes on Halloween, and can be a fire hazard. Make sure the child's costume and accessories are all flame resistant just in case they bump into an open flame while trick-or-treating.
Carry a Flashlight While Trick-or-Treating
Even if the streets are well lit and your costumes are bright, carry a flashlight. A flashlight comes in handy when in areas that are not so well lit, so use one when crossing the street for the highest visibility.
Avoid Tripping Hazards
Check your child's costume and accessories for proper fit before letting them take off. Make sure the costume is not too long to trip over, and accessories, such as canes, swords, and other items, are not too long to cause them to trip while walking.
Stick to Familiar Streets
Avoid venturing off into new neighborhoods. On Halloween, it is a good idea to stick close to home, or at least to neighborhoods and streets that are familiar.
Do Not Talk to Strangers
While walking along the streets on Halloween, strangers are also lining the streets. Kids need to stay focused on their own group, follow the rules, and politely gather candy, and avoid talking to anyone they do not know.