Halloween may be only once a year, but it is worth the effort to start early to plan for a fun and safe evening. Help your youngster select a costume with safety in mind. Remember that could be cold, so pick a costume that will allow your child to wear warm clothing underneath. Add some reflective material and bright colors to the costume and always carry a flashlight. Consider tying a “glow stick” to the front and back of the costume for added visibility. Choose face paint rather than a mask, since a mask can restrict vision and make it harder to navigate around steps, walks and driveways. Parents, join in the fun by accompanying your younger children on their adventure. Older siblings can also accompany younger ones, but set the expectations for where they will go and when they are expected home. Limit trick-or-treating to your own neighborhood or houses where you know the residents and accept only wrapped candy or treats. If a house in your neighborhood is dark and the front lights are not on, then skip to the next one. Children should be instructed not to eat any candy until they get home and their treats are inspected by an adult. If you suspect any tampering, do not eat the item and save the wrapper. Motorists, remember that younger children often go out early in the evening so be careful on your way home. In their excitement, some trick-or-treaters may forget basic safety rules so be careful as you drive. Remind your excited children to walk, not run, and use the sidewalks. Also remind them to be aware of traffic and look before crossing the street. Unfortunately, some people make choices that cause problems during this season. Be alert of suspicious persons in your neighborhood as well as anyone causing damage or harassing younger kids. Plan now to make this Halloween a safe and enjoyable one for you and your family.
If using candles to light jack-o-lanterns, use a self-contained variety, which sits inside a metal container. Remember to keep small children away from lit candles and electrical decorations, which can be a fire hazard. On Halloween night, try to avoid leaving your house empty. If you must leave the house empty then be sure to close windows and lock the doors, leaving only a few lights on.
The fall season and Halloween should be exiting for both children and parents. By following a few basic safety tips, we’ll do well in keeping our kids safe this Halloween.
For more information or a presentation on this topic, contact the Community Services Coordinator at (910) 692-2732.