Essential Halloween Safety Tips for Families, Homeowners and Drivers
For children, the most important part of Halloween is trick-or-treating. For parents, the essentials of Halloween are safety and having fun. When you and your family are out trick-or-treating, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Safety Tips for Families
Create a Plan
For many parents, trick-or-treating is more than going door-to-door to receive candy. If you are a parent, there's a good chance you stress over all the negative scenarios that could possibly occur. Parents see a lot of hidden dangers children do not which is why a plan will be beneficial.
Choose a Time
The average trick-or-treating time ranges between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. This allows parents to get home from work and get their children ready to take on the neighborhood. In many states in the US, if Halloween dates on a weekday, trick-or-treating will not take place until the weekend.
Scout the Neighborhood
You may know your neighborhood like the back of your hand but it's easy to get side-tracked. Over the years, you may have noticed houses that welcome trick-or-treaters and those who do not. The universal signal of welcomed trick-or-treaters is a bright, shining porch light. When the porch light is off, do not knock on the door. This fact is essential when creating the neighborhood route.
Pick a Buddy
Everyone knows trick-or-treating is more fun with family and friends. You may feel more comfortable allowing your child to trick-or-treat with the neighbors and their children or a relative. The more, the merrier!
Trick-or-treating is a celebration that occurs at dusk which means night will soon fall. Put flashing or blinking lights on your child's costume to ensure they are visible to drivers, other trick-or-treaters and yourself.
Create a Checklist
Creating a checklist is another way to safeguard your child's trick-or-treating experience. A few essentials of your checklist should include:
- Safe neighborhood route
- Proper walking shoes
- Cell phone ( for emergency purposes)
- Reflective accessories for costumes and clothing
Trick-or-Treat Tips and Advice
there is a right and wrong way to walk the streets, especially when you are trick-or-treating with little children. When you are walking, be sure to cross the street at corners and use crosswalks and traffic signals. Before crossing the street, look both ways, (left and right), before crossing the street with your children. Electronic devices should not be taken trick-or-treating. These devices can distract your child and others while trick-or-treating and could be lost or damaged. Before you begin your trick-or-treating adventure with your child, teach them how to properly make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of a vehicle. Some neighborhoods provide sidewalks and paths for pedestrians to walk and others do not. Keep an eye out for cars that are reversing or trying to turn. Make sure your children know not to walk between parked cars and not to run out into the middle of the street.
Children under the age of 12 need to be supervised at all times, especially at night. Do not allow your little one to walk too far ahead of you while going door to door, even if you are in your neighborhood.
A child's costume should be creative, yet safe. If you are making your child's costume, choose light colors and use as much reflective tape as possible. Stickers are great to use. Take your creativity to another level by using face paint instead of purchasing a mask. Masks can obstruct a child's vision. Flashlights and glow sticks are perfect for lighting the way and remaining visible to drivers and other people who are trick-or-treating. Make sure your child's costume fits properly to prevent trips, falls and other mishaps that could cause serious injuries.
Residential neighborhoods are caution areas for drivers. Whether you are driving your child door-to-door or traveling by vehicle to reach your Halloween celebration destination, always remain cautious of residential neighborhoods. Look for children who may be standing at intersections and curbs. If you park in someone's driveway, drive carefully. You should not exceed 10 mph in a residential neighborhood. Never text and drive in any situation. Other distractions within your vehicle, such as loud music, should be eliminated.
Always check your child's treats and candy before they dive in and feast. Candy that have open wrappers are a caution sign. Smell candy and look for faded color of candy wrappers. It is always better to be safe than sorry. When your child is given homemade treats, be sure to ask the person who made them the ingredients of the treat. This information is essential for parents of children who have food allergies.
Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners
Additional Outdoor Lighting
Lighting is important for your safety, as well as, the safety of trick-or-treaters. Your home should be well-lit on the outside so everyone can get to and from your home safely. All lighting that is used should be grounded and free from clutter and debris.
Keep Your Furry Ones Inside
Your pets are excited and want to check out the company as soon as the doorbell rings. Trick-or-treaters may trip, fall or your pet may run into the street. It's best to stay on the safe side of this situation and avoid holiday mishaps by keep all pets indoors and maybe in another room until the excitement is over.
Clear Sidewalks, Walkways, and Paths
Sidewalks, walkways, and paths need to remain clear for the safety of everyone coming to your home. Most trick-or-treaters have been waiting the whole month to put their costume on and run from house to house to collect treats. In this time, they are taking shortcuts through yards and cutting across walkways to get to other houses. Avoid potential accidents and threats by:
- Filling potholes
- Rake leaves
- Making sure gardening tools are in a safe place and out of the yard
- Cut and remove dead tree branches
- Trim bushes and hedges
- Remove hoses from the yard
Check Your Home Insurance Policy
It may seem odd to check your home insurance policy or add to it just to hand out candy until the impossible happens and you're at a loss. Any time you open your home to visitors, including handing out candy at Halloween, you need to be covered. Giving out candy makes you susceptible to lawsuits and insurance claims. Check with your insurance agent to ensure you have more than enough coverage if any mishaps occur.
Look for the Blue Pumpkins!
Watch for blue pumpkins! There may be some trick-or-treaters carrying blue pumpkins, which is a symbol they are autistic. Remember to be kind and patient. Some trick-or-treaters who have autism may be non-verbal, hyperactive, very reserved, or all three. As a mom of an awesome kid with autism, trick-or-treating can be challenging, but it's worth it! Using blue pumpkins helps with autism awareness and helps get rid of a lot of stigmas that are associated with children and adults who have autism.
Halloween Safety Tips for Drivers
As a motorist, you have to be on high alert when you're driving. Pay close attention to traffic signs and traffic lights, and drive no faster than 5 mph through neighborhoods and congested areas. Honk your horn before entering and exiting driveways and make sure your headlights are on during the day and night. Some children may be wearing dark costumes without reflective gear, which makes them difficult to see, especially at night, so pay attention to curbs, medians, and roads for children who may be crossing the street. Halloween is exciting for children and the only thing in their mind is making it to the next house to get their candy, not looking both ways to cross the street. Look left and right before proceeding to drive forward. Also look for children between parked cars who are trying to cross the street.
Trick-or-Treat Safety for Drivers
© 2015 Brittany N Rockette