There are many ways to keep your child safe at Halloween, when they are more prone to accidents and injuries. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year sometimes makes them forget to be careful. Simple common sense can do a lot to stop any tragedies from happening.
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
- Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.
- Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
- Plan ahead to use only battery-powered lanterns or chemical light sticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
- Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost. Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
- Review with your children the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll”, should their clothes catch fire.
- Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.
Before Nightfall on Halloween
- A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
- While children can help with the fun of designing a Jack O’Lantern, leave the carving to adults.
- Always keep Jack O’Lanterns and hot electric lamps far away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children and pets will be standing or walking.
- Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
- Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags.
- Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community.
- Adult partygoers should establish a designated driver.
- By using a flashlight, they can see and be seen by others.
- Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.
- Only trick-or-treat in well-known neighborhoods at homes that have the porch light on.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
- Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
- Always walk. Never run across a street.
- Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
- Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.
- No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult at home.
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
- Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.