Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared!Posted on by
Posted on by
Jack-o’-lanterns glow on the front porch. Children wait anxiously in their costumes, ready to go house-to-house collecting buckets of treats. For kids (and, yes, adults too), Halloween can be a time of excitement and imagination. But as a parent, you need to protect your little ones from some very real dangers. What if they get separated from you? Are they prepared to safely cross the street? Did you remind them to not eat the candy before you check it?
From chilling tales to creepy costumes, lots of things can be scary on Halloween night. But the real danger for children is walking in the dark. On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Make sure children know the rules of the road and are as visible as possible at night.
- Travel together. Avoid letting children walk alone. Always walk in large groups with a responsible adult
- Brighten up. Fasten reflective tape to kids’ costumes and treat bags so drivers can see them at night. Brightly-colored costumes are better for kids
- Look both ways. Tell your child to look both ways before crossing the street and to use crosswalks
- Stay on sidewalks. Walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe
- See and be seen. Give children a flashlight or glow stick to hold while trick-or-treating to help them see, and to help others see them while they walk – never run! – from house to house
Your little princess or goblin is itching to hit the trick-or-treat trail. Their costume looks spook-tacular… but is it safe? The right costume will allow your child to see and move safely while they’re out and about.
Using makeup instead of masks can help kids watch the action around them. When painting little faces, always test make-up in a small area first, and remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
Avoid trips and falls by making sure costumes and shoes are well fitted. Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible. For extra safety, slip an emergency contact information card in your child’s pocket or treat bucket in case they get lost or separated from the group.
While beautiful, candles and luminaries can be a Halloween hazard. Check that everyone’s costumes are flame-resistant, and don’t walk near anything that’s lit. Use battery operated lights whenever you can to keep others safe.
No Tricks, Only Treats
As children’s candy buckets fill up, tiny fingers may struggle to resist temptation: “Just one piece will be okay…”
Or is it? Remind your trick-or-treaters not to eat anything until they get home and you can inspect it. Feed your children dinner or a snack to keep them from wanting to pilfer the treats while they’re out.
Bellyaches are no fun! While inspecting the candy, look for evidence of tampering, make sure it’s in the original wrapper, and throw away treats that look homemade. Does your child have food allergies? Don’t forget to check all the labels.
Have a Fa-boo-lous Halloween!
Halloween is about making memories: haunted houses, carving pumpkins, costumes, and the search for full-size candy bars. Keeping children safe throughout the festivities depends on everyone – parents and kids, drivers and pedestrians – being thoughtful, attentive, and careful.
Visit the CDC website for more tips on how you can prepare, and have a fun and safe Halloween!