Public Safety Awareness

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a mirthful and thrilling holiday that children and adults alike look forward to for months in advance. It’s a time for dressing up in frightening, funny or creative costumes, watching your favorite scary movies, eating delicious chocolate or sugary treats, carving jack-o-lanterns, attending haunted houses and, for most children across the country, it’s a time for trick-or-treating.

In the U.S. trick-or-treating has been a time-honored Halloween tradition for over 70 years. On All Hallows Eve, frolicsome children in costume haunt their neighborhoods collecting their treats in order to abstain from inflicting their tricks; or more accurately, children walk door-to-door and receive candy and sweets from friends and neighbors.

Trick-or-treating is a Halloween activity that kids of all ages adore but for parents it can be a stressful time. There are many dangers that can be associated with allowing children to go out and about visiting strangers while dressed in disguise. Luckily there are some very simple guidelines to follow helps ensure that Halloween can be enjoyed safely for children and worry-free for parents and adults.

Here are some basic Halloween safety tips for parents and children:

Screenshot_10_30_14,_8_33_AMTips for Parents of Trick-or-Treaters and Party Hosts:

  • If you have a party where there are lit jack-o-lanterns, make sure you keep them away from walkways, doorways, curtains or areas where objects, children or pets might get too close to the flame. An even safer precautionary measure is to use battery operated lights instead of candles all together.
  • Remember to drive safely around neighborhoods and remind friends coming to your house to keep and extra careful watch for trick-or-treating children who might run out into the street.
  • When choosing a costume for your child, make sure the fabric is flame resistant or treated with a fire retardant and that it fits properly and will not cause the child to trip over the any excess material. Any masks should be tested to make sure they do not interfere with a child’s peripheral vision. You also want to make sure that your child is visible to others, especially drivers, by having them wear or carry something reflective like a Halloween bag or other reflective accessories.
  • If your child will be wearing facial make-up it is best to test it out on a small patch of skin first, to ensure that there will be no allergic reaction on Halloween.
  • If you are not able to go trick-or-treating with your child, make sure you know the group that he or she will be out with and that there will be other responsible adults involved.
  • Designate or learn the specific route your child will be walking in your neighborhood so that it will be easy to locate them at any time. Make sure they know they should not stray from the designated route and that they or an adult chaperone should check in with you every hour or so.
  • Make sure you have spoken with your children about the dangers of talking to or approaching strangers. Even if you will be trick-or-treating with them, it is important for them to be aware that not all adults can be trusted and they should avoid people that they don’t know.
  • Also make sure you have taught your child how to properly cross the street by looking both ways, using crosswalks and holding hands before crossing.

Screenshot_10_30_14,_8_33_AM 2Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

  • When you are trick-or-treating with your friends, try to stick with the group at all times and avoid getting left alone. Sometimes it can be hard for adults to keep track of every child they have with them, so help make their job easier by staying close by.
  • Walk only on sidewalks and avoid getting into the street unless you are crossing with your group. When you are crossing with your group, make sure you look both ways and walk across only when it is safe. Do not run and risk tripping and falling in the street.
  • Do not walk or stand near candles, luminaries or flame lit jack-o-lanterns.
  • Only visit well lit houses and never enter any homes of people that you don’t know or accept rides from strangers.
  • Do your best to avoid eating your candy until you have gotten it home for your parents to check it for you, but if you must, eat only factory-wrapped candy that you have received from trusted adults or neighbors. Homemade or hand wrapped treats from strangers should be avoided.
  • Try not to overdo it with all the delicious candy and treats. Halloween is no fun with a stomachache and Pepto-Bismol doesn’t taste as good as snickers!
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