A Safe, Spooky Halloween

When the ghouls and goblins play, here’s what you should know to keep your little Casper and Cinderella safe and sound.

The jack-o-lantern is carved and sitting on the front porch in anticipation. The costumes are all picked out and ready to slide on at a moment’s notice. The candy is sitting in the bowl beside your front door. And your children are panting like wild dogs, ready to hit the streets and grab all the teeth-rotting goodness they can. But before they head out for a devilish night of trick-or-treating, make sure Halloween is as safe as it is spooky.

In Costume

While getting your kids prepped for a night of friends, fun, and candy, ensure their costumes won’t put them in harm’s way. Be sure your child’s costume isn’t so long that it makes it difficult to walk. Also, have your child wear shoes that he or she can move in with ease.

High heels or strange footwear may pose a tripping problem or make it hard to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eyeholes are large enough for your child to see out of easily. In addition to the costume hanging on your child’s body, it’s a good idea to know what accessories your child should carry. One of the most important is a flashlight or glow stick and some reflective taping. This will help your child avoid falling in holes and help cars see your child from far away. For older children not being supervised by an adult, it’s a good idea to have them carry cell phones in case of an emergency. Kids should also be discouraged to carry pretend guns, as they can be mistaken for real guns during the dark Halloween night.

On the Search

As you probably know, the most dangerous aspects of Halloween show up during the hunt for candy. Here are some tips to give your kids for a safe and fun Halloween.

  • Don’t take candy from strangers.
  • Don’t eat unwrapped candy or food.
  • Have an adult look over all candy before eating. (You can also take it to your local fire department for a closer look.)
  • Go trick-or-treating during the day if possible.
  • Older kids who are going out on their own should plan the route, so parents know when the kids will be home.
  • Don’t go inside a stranger’s car or home.
  • Stick with a group.
  • Walk on sidewalks and driveways and don’t run.
  • Cross the street at designated crosswalks.
  • Only go to houses that are well lit.

At Home

While the majority of Halloween safety is centered around trick-or-treaters, candy givers are also responsible for keeping kids safe. If you’re going to be handing out treats at your house, keep walkways clear to allow safe passage for trick-or-treaters. Also, be sure that lit candles don’t put any visitors at risk for catching fire. Though most costumes are flame resistant, it is still possible for a dangerous accident to occur. With a little caution, you can prevent accidents from occurring on your front porch.

In the Car

In addition to home safety, road safety is also your responsibility if you’re driving your children around during Halloween. When driving around to find the biggest and best treasure troves of candy, be very cautious. Any time you’re on neighborhood streets, drive particularly slow, and don’t expect children to know the rules of the road. This caution will prevent dangerous or even deadly accidents during Halloween.

Take It off the Streets

During the last few years, a new phenomenon gives safety-conscious parents an alternative to the traditional house-to-house trick-or-treating of the good old days. Held at shopping malls, churches, and other public meeting places, trunk-or-treating takes place in a single parking lot.

It works like this: Participants bring plenty of candy in the trunks of their cars and hand it out to dressed up youngsters. Once kids get their fill of candy, they head home or hang around for other fun activities. This type of event makes it easier for parents to keep up with their little bumblebees and sorcerers, while allowing the kids to get plenty of candy without having to walk far.

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