Halloween can be a night of scary fun for kids. But for parents, it often turns into the worrying kind of scary. There’s good reason: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that Halloween is one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries. The CDC agrees that kids are four times as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night.
There are some things you can do to ensure everyone has a good night. YourTown Health has compiled a list of tips to keep your children and pets safe.
Choose costumes with care:
1. Visibility at night is key. Add reflective tape somewhere – either to the costume or the trick-or- treat bag – so your child can be seen in the dark.
2. Make sure the costume is easy to walk in and won’t cause tripping.
3. Look for flame retardant/resistant costumes – and watch for overly long bell sleeves, trains and tails that are more likely to come into contact with flames.
4. Watch for dangerous accessories. Prop guns and knives can be mistaken for the real thing. Masks can obstruct your child’s vision. Oversized shoes and high heels can cause falls.
5. Don’t use decorative contact lenses. These are extremely dangerous and can cause infections that could lead to permanent vision loss.
6. The ASPCA is not really a fan of dressing up pets and says you should only do it if you know for certain that they are comfortable. Costumes can restrict a pet’s movement, limiting his or her ability to see or breathe. Also watch for pieces that can be chewed off or could present a choking hazard.
1. A parent or adult should always accompany young children.
2. If older children are going out without you:
– review their route to make sure it’s acceptable with you and an area you know,
– go over what to do in case they have an emergency or get lost,
– be sure they stay in a group,
– agree on a set time for them to return home.
3. Stay on well-lit streets only.
4. Only go to homes with a porch light on.
5. Never enter a home or a car for a treat.
6. Carry a flashlight and a cellphone.
7. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or- treaters. Always use sidewalks and never assume a car will stop for you.
8. Tell children to wait until they get home before diving into their treats. Check their candy first and throw away anything that’s unwrapped or spoiled.
9. Notify police immediately about any suspicious activity.
1. Remove anything from your yard or front porch that a child could trip over. (That includes wet leaves.)
2. Make sure outdoor lights are on and working.
3. With all of the activity and strangers in costumes at the door, Halloween is a
very stressful night for pets. Keep them in a separate room where they’ll be safe and can’t get out.
4. Healthier options to hand out include gum, sunflower seeds, mini pretzels, raisins, energy bars, juice boxes and coupons for smoothies or frozen yogurt.
5. Also consider handing out non-food treats like stickers, glow sticks, bubbles, spooky jewelry and crayons.