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Safety on Halloween for Kids While They Trick or Treat
Safety is Important
Halloween and trick or treating are right around the corner. Soon we’ll be giving sweets and Halloween gifts to all of the neighborhood kids. We hope you’ll get caught up in the excitement and “ooh” and “aah” over all the costumes.
But you should remember that it can be a dangerous time, too. We’ll have many children saying "trick or treat" in the dark, so adults need to work together to keep them safe.
Costume Safety Tips
- Kids always think that "more is more." But stick to less elaborate costumes.Long flowing dresses, wizardly robes, and other heavy gear may cause your child to trip. Make sure that long belts and other accessories will not get caught around the legs or ankles and cause a disaster in a neighbor's driveway.
- Make sure they put on footwear that fits well. Heavy boots and high-heeled shoes spell disaster when it comes to rocky roads and slanted driveways. You don't want your children to trip. In addition, these fancy kicks can cause some dangerously uncomfortable blisters by the end of the evening.
- Stay away from masks or face coverings that can keep you from seeing cars. It's dark and dangerous, and not everyone will be looking out for people in the street. Believe it or not, there are still some drivers who forget to watch out for trick or treaters!
- Make sure that people can see you! Choose bright or light colored costumes, carry glow sticks, and place reflective tape on your back. Blinking lights, glowing necklaces, and other attention-grabbing gear is a great place to start.
- Always carry a flashlight. It will help you see, but most importantly, it will help others to see you.
- Watch out for strangers. Just because it's Halloween doesn't mean that the rules have changed. Do not accept rides from strangers, and do not go into anyone's home, even if you think you know them.
- Use the buddy system. Stay in a group, and always stick with your assigned buddy. As long as you can keep track of each other, you will be more safe.
- Carry a cell phone or other device so you can communicate with an adult.
- Stick to well lit streets and sidewalks. Never take a shortcut, especially in the dark.
- Don't travel to other neighborhoods. Yes, I know that they candy might be better in a different neighborhood, but it's not worth the risk. If you really must go somewhere else, find a local Trunk or Treat or community event that is sponsored by a church or other organization. You will certainly have lots of fun, and you will have plenty to eat!
Home Owner Safety Tips
- Turn your lights ON to welcome trick or treaters. Turn your lights OFF to signal that you’re no longer “open” for business. Some small kids may forget and innocently run up to your door, but be kind... they are still young.
- Keep your driveway and sidewalk clear so the kids don’t trip on hoses, flower pots, etc. It's good for them, and it's good for you.
- Keep your area as well-lit as possible (the parents will be very thankful.) If you have some spare plain white LED Christmas lights, you can lay them down on the ground as a path for the little ones. It can guide them in the right direction.
- If you have a stoop, sit at the bottom of the stairs and hand out candy there. It will save the little kids from walking up and down the stairs in their costumes, and it will avoid a traffic jam at the doorway. It will also avoid possible falls down the concrete or brick stairs.
- Offer pre-packaged treats, so the parents know they’re safe. Remember the old stories about razor blades in the apples? They had to come from somewhere!
- Offer goodies that do not contain nuts. Food allergies are increasingly common these days, and peanut and other nut allergies are the most prevalent of all. Stick to peanut free goodies for everyone. And, as an extra bonus, you will save some money in the process! Reese's are not cheap.
- For a unique treat, pass out glow-in-the-dark sticks. They’ll help you see the kids, and they love to play with them. (The sticks last longer if you keep them in the freezer at night.)
- Looking for a safe yet inexpensive alternative to candy? Kids love coins. Give them a handful of pennies for their piggy-banks, and you’ll save a few pennies yourself!
Always Check the Candy
Trick or Treating Safety Tips
- Before leaving your home, talk to your parents about tonight’s safety rules. Yes, parents know that you want to have fun, but they used to be kids too. So they know all the tricks. Give them a break and earn their trust tonight.
- Carry a flashlight, glow-in-the-dark sticks, or something else to make sure you can be seen. Walk on the side of the road, the sidewalk, or another safe area. Never walk in the middle of the street.
- Always invite your friends to trick or treat with you. The more people in the group, the safer you will be. Make sure everyone in the group has an assigned buddy, and stick with your buddy all night. This way, if someone disappears, it will be noticed right away.
- Walk with a large group, so people can see you.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street. You have heard that rule a million times, but there is a very good reason: it works!
- Have your parents check all candy before eating it. Yes, we know it’s tempting to taste, but always ask a trusted adult first!
- Carry a cell phone, a walkie-talkie, or another form of communication. You never know when you might need some help along the way.
- Remember, if a neighbor does not have their lights on, then they are not doing Halloween tonight. So skip their house, and go to the next house. That neighbor may have just run out of candy. It does happen all the time!
- Have fun!
Are You Halloween Safe?
Which of these Halloween safety measures are you most likely to forget?
Costumes Should Not Cover Faces
Pet Safety on Halloween
- Keep the candy away from your pets. Both the candy and the wrappers can hurt your animals.
- Only dress up your pet if the pet enjoys it. Most pets find costumes annoying, itchy, or just plain uncomfortable. If your pet doesn't like the costume, take it off.
- Keep your pet away from all the action. Lock them in a back bedroom and leave the television on for company. Pets may become scared when trick or treaters come to the door.
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