The sound of laughter fills the air as little footsteps are heard stomping on the ground. The light knock on a door and the screams of “trick or treat!” are rewarded with sweet candy goodies as the sun sets. Halloween is a night made for spooky encounters and scary fun, but all the wonderful aspects of this night can be dangerous.
According to Bloomberg, cars kill more pedestrians on Oct. 31 than any other day of the year. Keep you and your family safe this Halloween with these scary safe trick-or-treating tips.
Trick-or-Treating in Style
We have all been there; no one wants to wear a jacket over their Halloween costume. Halloween is the one night each year we get to dress up and show off the awesome costumes we made or purchased. While we hope for mild weather at the end of October, costume safety is something we all can practice. When choosing a costume, make sure the entire costume fits perfectly to prevent trips or falls while walking. — the costume shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. Even with a perfect-fitting outfit, never cut across yards to prevent falls due to uneven ground and natural obstacles.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, popular trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., which means many kids will be traveling in the dark. To easily spot trick-or-treaters, decorate costumes with reflective tape and encourage costumes with light colors. To add a fun twist, give children glow sticks or flashlights so they can be easily seen by parents and drivers.
Opt for face paint rather than face masks to ensure children have a full range of vision. According to healthychildren.org, check the ingredients on the face paint and test makeup on the skin ahead of time to avoid allergic reactions on the big night.
Navigating the Neighborhoods
Halloween is an exciting night for everyone regardless of age. However, no matter how high we climb in age, practicing safety while crossing roads is an essential, lifelong skill. Always cross the street at corners and use traffic signals and crosswalks that are available and always look both ways while crossing. Stay alert while crossing any street and keep electronics tucked away until you have reached the other side. Stick to sidewalks and pathways first before resorting to walking in the street.
For parents with smaller children, hold their hand while crossing and inform them to always walk and never run across a street. Children and adults should stay aware of cars backing out of driveways or turning street corners. According to the National Safety Council, 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.
An adult should accompany children under 12 years of age. For older children trick-or-treating, parents should encourage them to go with large groups of friends and stay within familiar and well-lit neighborhoods.
All drivers should be extremely cautious while navigating neighborhoods on Halloween. Parents should talk to teen drivers about taking precautionary measures or avoiding driving on Halloween with increased foot traffic among children.
Time for Treats
After preparing for a safe night out comes the best part, collecting all the treats! While many children wait all year for this spooktacular night, it is important to be cautious while going up to strangers' homes. Only go to homes that have a porch light on and never enter a home or a car for a treat.
If you are handing out candy and expect trick-or-treaters, help keep them safe by turning on your outdoor lights and picking up any tripping hazards. Clean up any natural debris like leaves and sticks to keep children from slipping, and keep pets away to prevent animal bites.
Not all children are able to enjoy every sweet treat due to allergies and other dietary restrictions. Alternatives to passing out candy include handing out non-edible goodies such as glowsticks, bubbles, stickers, bouncy balls and other small toys.
Eating a good meal before trick or treating will prevent children from filling up on sugary snacks before bed and could help stomach aches from sweets.