by Tim O’Hare
Halloween is a fun holiday for families, but it can also be a dangerous holiday. Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year (safekids.org). Don’t let your Halloween end in a real scare. Keep your kids safe with these Halloween safety tips:
Trick-or-treating safety tips for children
• Be sure costumes and shoes fit properly. Avoid long or oversized costumes that might be a trip hazard for little ones. If your child’s costume includes special shoes, be sure they fit well and your child can walk easily in them.
• Be sure kids can see clearly. If your child is wearing a mask, be sure the eyeholes are big enough that your little one can see clearly. A safe alternative to a mask is glow-in-the-dark face paint.
• Be sure drivers can see your children. It can be very difficult for drivers to see young children on the roads at night, especially when they are wearing a dark costume. Attach reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark stickers to costumes and have your child wear glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces.
• Trick or treat during daylight hours. There’s plenty of fun to be had before the sun sets on Halloween. Take your kids out for trick-or-treating early and plan fun activities or a special movie night for when you get home.
• Don’t let children go out alone. Children should not go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. If you are unable to take your kids out yourself, arrange to have an adult family member or friend go with your kids instead. Adult escorts should carry a flashlight for better visibility if out after dark.
• Always use cross walks. Remind children to stay on the sidewalks, and to only cross the street at a designated crosswalk. If there are no crosswalks in the neighborhood, cross at a well-lit street corner. Do not take shortcuts through backyards or alleys.
Safety tips for drivers on Halloween
• Put away distractions. That phone call or text message can wait. Put away your cell phone and pay attention to the roads.
• Drive slowly in neighborhoods. Watch closely for children who may dart into the street.
• Don’t drink and drive.
Other safety tips
• Advise your children that they should never enter a stranger’s home.
• Remind your children that they should never accept rides from strangers.
• Set a specific time limit for your children to be out on Halloween night.
• Know what route your children will be taking.
• If you notice suspicious behavior in your neighborhood, don’t hesitate to call 911.
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