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Tips and Tricks for a Safe Halloween

Halloween is here, and the annual excitement of trick-or-treating is just days away. Make sure you and your loved ones enjoy a safe Halloween this year by following some basic guidelines.

Safe Travels

  • Cross at corners, obey lights and use crosswalks. Look left, right, and left again and be vigilant when you’re in the street.
  • Don’t stare at your phone while walking, keep your head up.
  • Don’t run across the street or dart out between cars.
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of a car.
  • Use sidewalks and paths, or walk facing traffic on the side of the road if it’s not an option.
  • Minimize street crossings. Go up one side of the street, cross at the end, and go back instead of running back and forth.
  • Keep an eye out for cars turning or backing up.
  • Adults may want to accompany kids under 12 for trick-or-treating. If you determine your children are old enough to go on their own, find out where they will be and encourage them to stick together in groups.
  • Never enter a home or car for a treat. Talk with your kids about how and when to call 9-1-1 and make sure they have a phone with them if needed.

Costume Considerations

  • Decorate costumes and candy bags with lights or reflective strips. Choosing light colors instead of dark for costumes can increase visibility.
  • Face paint or makeup may be a better choice than masks, which can limit a child’s field of vision.
  • Glow sticks or flashlights can help you be seen.
  • Make sure costumes fit snugly at the bottom to minimize the chances of tripping and falling.
  • Choose costumes labeled “flame resistant” to decrease the chance of catching fire.
  • Avoid including weapons like swords, canes, sticks, or anything that shoots a projectile. Do not use a realistic gun as part of your costume! They can be mistaken by police or homeowners as real firearms and lead to a tragic outcome.

Drive Safe

  • Go slow and anticipate kids popping out from between cars.
  • Take extra time to ensure crosswalks are clear. Be aware of stragglers running behind a group to catch up.
  • Be careful pulling into driveways, especially those without clear visibility. When backing out, use a spotter if possible.
  • Put your phone down so you can focus your attention on the road and look for pedestrians.
  • Turn your headlights on even if it doesn’t seem dark enough. Increasing your visibility may help others see you.

Safe Carving

  • Encourage younger kids to draw on pumpkins instead of using sharp tools to carve them, and supervise older children using knives.
  • Use a battery powered light or glow stick to illuminate your jack-o-lantern instead of a candle to decrease the risk of fire.
  • Choose your jack-o-lantern location thoughtfully to keep them away from anything flammable.

Home Safe

  • Turn on your lights if you’re home and encouraging children to come to your door.
  • Sweep loose leaves and remove tripping hazards on walkways and stairs to decrease the chance of someone falling.
  • Halloween can be stressful for pets with noise and foot traffic. Make sure to keep everyone safe by keeping your pets in a room that does not have access to the front door.
  • Have some healthy or non-edible snacks like little toys or stickers for kids who can’t eat candy or those with food allergies.

Healthy Thoughts

  • Feed your children a good meal before going out trick-or-treating to make sure they don’t overindulge on candy.
  • Tampered treats are very rare but can be distributed to kids. Keep an eye on anything that looks suspicious, unwrapped, or spoiled. Keep choking hazards like hard candies away from small children.
  • Encourage your kids to consume their candy haul over a few weeks instead of trying to eat it as fast as possible.

Have fun, stay safe out there, and enjoy the night. Happy Halloween!