FOCUS: Halloween Safety

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Here are some Halloween safety tips whether you are going out door to door, or just handing out candy to the little ones.

Costumes

If at all possible, try to pick a costume that is bright and reflective. If that is not the case, consider attaching a light or reflective tape to the costume so that your child can be seen at night. Adding reflective tape and/or lights to trick-or-treat bags is another way to help them be seen.

Make sure the costumes fit. Costumes that are too big or baggy can lead to trips and falls. Ill-fitting masks can lead to limited visibility and can also lead to accidents. Make sure that they are wearing good shoes that they can walk in.

Also make sure that costumes and accessories are flame resistant and any make-up or hair sprays are non-toxic. It may be a good idea to test make-up on a small patch of skin to make sure the child has no reactions to it.

If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips. Also make sure your child knows not to strike others with these types of items.

Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as "one size fits all," or "no need to see an eye specialist," obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is dangerous. They can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.

Find a place to leave a business card or small slip of paper with your name and contact information in the costume. If a child becomes lost, this is a great way to help someone else contact you.

Trick-or-Treating

A responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds. Accompany them up to the house and cross the street with them.

Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home. Find out who they are going with and, if at all possible, coordinate with their parents.

Only go to homes with a porch light on, don’t worry about dark homes. Never enter a home or car for a treat. Remain on well-lit streets and avoid dark, isolated areas. Do not cut across yards or use alleys. Always use the sidewalk, If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic

Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks. Never cross between parked cars or out driveways. Look for other obstacles that may make pedestrians “invisible” to drivers. Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will!

Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity. Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost. If your child is lost, call 9-1-1 and provide as much information as possible. Take a picture of your children in their costumes to show police if they become lost. Also have a picture of them out of their costume to show police. If the child is old enough, create a plan if they become lost or separated.

Home Safe Home


Keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters. Make sure there is a clear path from the sidewalk to the front door. Remove anything from the porch, walkways, carport, and front yard someone could trip over, including hoses, toys, bikes, tool, and lawn decorations. Trim trees or other vegetation that may be in the way.

Make sure your home is well lit. Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on, bite, or scare trick-or-treaters. If your pet startles easily, it may be a good idea to put them in a place they feel safe, such as a back room or crate. 

Make sure outdoor decorations are safe, and out of the way for people in the yard. Avoid low hanging decorations that trick-or-treaters can run into. Consider a glow stick or flashlight instead of a candle inside pumpkins.