Halloween is just around the corner. To ensure your little Trick-or-Treaters enjoy the evening and stay safe, follow these basic safety tips.
Take the little ones after dinner and before it’s pitch dark outside. You’ll be able to spot potential risks easily and keep track of your children better. Plus, they’ll wear off their pent-up energy and have time to wind down before bedtime! Even better…they will probably get the best selection of treats!
As the daylight dwindles, many children begin to disappear if their costume isn’t properly fitted with reflective devices. This can be as simple as buying a few reflective arm bands from a dollar store, but it’s more fun if you can integrate luminescence into their theme.
Glow sticks can double as wands or swords, flashing bicycle lights can become a robot processing data, or a sorcerer can emulate power from a glowing necklace. Sew a reflective strip down the sides of pant legs, and drivers will see your children, no matter the costume.
Makeup Over Masks
Halloween masks may entice kids, but you can usually create the same effect with makeup, and it’s much safer. Masks can impair a child’s vision which increases their chances of trips and falls.
If your child absolutely must have a particular mask to complete their costume, check it carefully first. Ensure there’s plenty of space around the eyes, room to breathe, and it fits well. Manufacturers make most masks from latex, so it’s easy to enlarge the eyeholes if needed.
Travel In Packs
If your child thinks they’re too old to go out with mom and dad, ensure they travel with a group of friends. There’s less risk, especially when they plan their route within the neighborhood and stick to it. Kids under 12 need adult supervision.
No matter the age, reinforce that they are never to accept a ride from a stranger and never go inside a home, even if it looks inviting. Even if there’s a Halloween party going on and it looks enticing, there’s no guarantee it’s safe. Have them stay on well-lit streets, instead of cutting through alleys or yards.
Children can get very excited at Halloween and often want to cover as much territory as possible. However, running and jaywalking make it next to impossible for a driver to anticipate movements or stop in time if a child bolts across the street.
Kids must follow at least the same safety measures they use during daylight hours, but even more caution as the light dims. They should never assume a driver will stop for them, even when they’re in a crosswalk. Waiting until a vehicle stops and checking any additional lanes before walking further is the best way to ensure safe passage to the other side of the road. At controlled intersections, children should only cross with the “walk” signal, and only after they meet the driver’s eyes and they see it is safe to do so.
Store The Cellphones
Cellphones are great devices to have handy in case of emergency, but they can distract kids from their surroundings and potential dangers. Texting, chatting, or taking photos can take place later. Stow the phone and enjoy the fun while it happens.
Consider A Party
Many communities and shopping malls sponsor Halloween parties which offer a safe alternative to trick or treating on the streets. They often include entertainment, plenty of treats, and a time limit.
Halloween house parties can also be fun if you know and trust the parents. Ask if you can contribute and discover what they’ve planned. You’ll need to drive and pick up young children, but you’ll know precisely where they are and what they’re doing.
Drive With Extra Care
Most trick-or-treating goes on between 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., which could mean you’re driving home from work as the kids start to circulate. Slow down, and double-check intersections, driveways, and alleyways as children can act unpredictably when they’re excited.
Time To Unwind
Check your children’s candy and give them time to savor their spoils. Sugary treats can make it difficult for them to wind down for bed, so allow extra time. Chat about their adventure, ask to sample a treat or two, and share one of your Halloween tales with them.
Before trick-or-treaters land on your doorstep, make sure that they have a clear, well-lit footpath. Review your homeowners insurance coverage with your agent too, to avoid possible financial implications if someone injures themselves on your property. When it comes to Halloween, you can never be too safe.