Safety tips for a spooktacular Halloween
Nevertheless, there are many potential dangers that come with this holiday, and it is important to keep safety first. Here are some tips to help your family stay safe this Halloween.
Choose bright costumes or consider adding reflective tape to costumes and candy bags. Make sure swords, knives, and other costume accessories are soft and flexible. Masks should not block vision, and consider ditching the mask for non-toxic makeup or decorative hats. Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping.
Leave pumpkin carving for a responsible adult, and let children use paint, glitter glue or markers. Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, make sure you do not leave the house unattended, and keep pets and small children away from the candle.
- Try to make sure your children eat a full meal before going trick-or-treating. This will prevent them from being tempted to eat their candy while trick-or-treating.
- Make sure an adult accompanies children younger than 12. For older children, encourage them to trick-or-treat in a group of friends or with older siblings. Make sure someone in the group has a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Children should know their parents’ cellphone number, home telephone number, and address in case they get lost or separated from their group. Consider giving a cellphone to your children for emergency contact and make sure your children know how to call 911 in case of an emergency.
- Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods with well-lit streets, and avoid trick-or-treating alone. For your older children, review the route with them to make sure it is safe. Set a specific time when they should return home.
- Remind children to look both ways before crossing streets. Make sure they only cross streets at established crosswalks and never dart across streets between parked cars. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Teach children not to enter the homes or vehicles of strangers. Always walk younger children to the door to receive candy.
- Make your home safe for trick-or-treaters by removing tripping hazards and keeping your home well lit. Restrain pets so they do not scare or attack trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure a responsible adult examines all treats for spoiling, tampering, choking hazards and suspicious items. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Children aren’t the only ones that need to be careful. October 31 is notorious for being the deadliest night for child pedestrian fatalities, and as much as we warn children to be careful, adults need to take the responsibility of driving safely. If you’re driving on Halloween, be extra vigilant between 4 p.m. and midnight. Pay extra attention at cross walks and residential areas, and avoid passing vehicles that have stopped, as they may be dropping off kids. And of course, don’t text and drive!
Halloween can be a fun and memorable day for children, and let’s make sure it’s memorable for the right reasons. Keep these simple safety tips in mind, and you can make a big difference for your family this Halloween!
Story contributed by Alvin Chi, third year medical student. This piece originally appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram.