Halloween is right around the corner, and with so many of us planning to take the kiddos out for some trick-or-treating fun, it is important to take some precautions to ensure the night goes smoothly. Check out these Safety Tips for Halloween Fun.
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Before Going Out
- Plan to have a trusted adult chaperoning the trick-or-treating for younger children. For mature children over the age of 12 trick-or-treating along, discuss sticking to a pre-determined well lit route. Also, have a quick and easy way for children to contact you in case of an emergency. According to safekids.org, “Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision.”
- Consider the design of your costumes. Masks, hats, and other accessories should not obstruct vision. Make sure costume fits properly and the child (and parent) can walk with ease. You should also avoid having really sharp objects as part of the costume. If a child falls, we wouldn’t want them to land on something that is sharp! It is also a good idea to add reflectors or lights to bags and/or costumes, so you can easily be spotted in the dark. You can even consider carrying flashlights or wearing glow accessories to help keep you visible in the night.
- Plan out a specific route you will be utilizing while trick-or-treating and supply that route to an emergency contact so that others know where to find you in the case of an emergency.
- Discuss with the group what to do in case of an emergency and the process of calling 911. MAKE SURE THERE IS A CELLPHONE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR CHILD(REN) TO USE.
- If there is a sidewalk available, use it. Try to stay off of the streets as much as possible. If you have to walk on the street, stick as far left as you possibly can and facing the traffic.
- Stay in a group. It easier to see a group of people than it may be to see just one.
- When crossing the street, remember too look both ways and listen for any vehicles that may be coming. Cross the streets at corners where there are crosswalks and traffic signals. Try to limit street crossing as much as possible.
- Keep your head up when crossing the street. DO NOT look down at cell phones or other objects when crossing the street, and WALK not run.
- Watch out for cars that are backing up or making a turn.
- Only go to homes who have a porch light on, and never enter the home of a stranger to retrieve treats.
- Never cut through alleys or yards.
- Be considerate of other trick or treaters and drive slowly, especially in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic.
- Remain alert. Children can be unpredictable. Expect that a child may try to dart out in front of you. Drive slow enough to safely come to a sudden stop if necessary.
- Pull into and out of driveways slowly.
- Minimize distractions in your car so you can be as focused as possible on the road.
- Turn your headlights on, and use your horn if necessary.
Passing out treats at home
- As aap.org mentions, “To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.”
- Make sure the perimeter of the home is well-lit
- Put pets away so to protect trick or treaters from being attacked.
- Make sure all treats are properly wrapped with ingredients clearly labeled.
- Always make sure you have a phone near the door in case you need to make an emergency call.
Extra tips to consider
- Try to hand out allergen free treats to trick or treaters.
- Make sure that your children are aware of their food allergies and check the ingredients before eating any treats.
- Eat a nice full meal before going out to trick or treat so your children (or you) won’t be so tempted to fill up on candy.
- Encourage children to NOT eat or take homemade baked goods and food items.
- Bring the candy home first before eating it.
- Ration the treats over the next few weeks. Maybe even consider donating what’s leftover after rationing.
- Have chaperones carry a first aid kit while out.
The important thing here is that everyone has a good time, and ends the night on a good note. The first step to ensuring that everyone has a good time is ensuring that everyone is safe. Using these tips, you can do just that.
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