Halloween Safety tips for kids and parents

(Heather Pelat/Media General)
(Heather Pelat/Media General)

Children Should:

– Not trick or treat without parents.

– Cross streets only at corners

– Use traffic signals and crosswalks.

– Never cross the street between parked cars.

– Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.

– Beware of vehicles backing out of driveways.

– Remind kids to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.

– Put cell phones and other electronic devices down while crossing the street.

– Always walk on the sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic, the furthest to the left as possible.

– Carry a flashlight or glow stick and/or wear reflective tape.

– Never go into a stranger’s house or car.

– Older children should trick or treat in groups and stay in familiar locations.

– Plan your route and share it with your family

– Older children should program an emergency contact in their phone. Program ICE (“in case of emergency”) followed by the names and phone numbers of those whom you wish to be notified in an emergency. ICE is recognized by emergency medical technicians, firefighters, police and emergency room personnel.

Parents Should:

– Walk with their children or make sure children are accompanied by a trusted adult.

– Make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home. Remove lawn decorations and sprinklers, toys and bicycles or anything that might obstruct your walkway. Provide a well-lit entrance to your home. Keep family pets away from trick-or-treaters.

– Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism.

– Instruct children NOT to eat treats until they return home and parents have had a chance to inspect those treats.

– Not leave candles unattended, try battery operated or votive candles in your jack-o-lanterns.

– Establish a pre-determined time that your older teenage child should return home. Let them know how important it is for them to be home by that time.

Drivers Should:

– Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

– Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

– Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

– Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

– Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

– Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Costume Safety Tips:

– Costumes, masks, beards and wigs should be flame resistant.

– Costumes should be light, bright and clearly visible to motorists, adding reflective tape can help make your child more visible to motorists.

– Make-up is safer than a mask, which can obscure vision. Test the make-up to make sure your child doesn’t have an allergic reaction.

– Avoid oversize costumes and high-heeled shoes that can cause a child to trip.

– Children should carry a flashlight to easily see and be seen.

– Trick-or-treat bags should not be too large; they can obscure vision or cause a child to trip.

Halloween Hazards:

– Sharp or pointed toy weapons.

– Open flames.

– Dangerous roadways.

– Treacherous “treats” – examine all treats for signs of tampering and choking hazards. Children should not eat homemade treats made by strangers.

– Do not allow children to carve pumpkins alone (special pumpkin cutters for kids are available at your local grocery or Halloween store).

– Always report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

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