Halloween is just around the corner, and you’ve probably already found the perfect costume for your kids. Trick-or-treating is a classic American pastime, fun for family bonding and rife with free candy. But, as most parents know, caution is in order to guarantee your child’s safety. According to AAA, Halloween is the deadliest night of the year for pedestrians. Follow this safety guide to make sure your kids have a blast without worry.
- Carry at least one flashlight per group of people, and be sure to bring a back-up battery. Flashlights can stop working without worry, and you’ll always want walkways to be illuminated so your children don’t trip on uneven sidewalks or decorations.
- Mark Halloween bags and part of your children’s costumes with bright electrical or reflective tape so they can be easily seen when crossing the street. Pedestrians should be extra cautious when crossing the street, but reflective electrical tape will help drivers see your children.
- Only walk up to houses with their lights on, or with welcoming signs. Not everyone participates in trick-or-treating, and children should be trained not to walk up to houses that are dimly lit or seem boarded up. When in doubt, move on to the next house.
- Don’t approach dogs, even those on leashes or behind fences. Costumes and strange masks can easily frighten dogs that are typically well behaved, and if provoked by strangers they can lash out and bite. Avoid dogs, even if they seem friendly.
- Carry filtered water in a sports bottle. Kids should stay hydrated, and with layered costumes they might sweat more than they realize. Be sure to take a water break every half hour so they keep a good amount of water in their system.
- Costumes and shoes should fit snugly. Check out your child’s costume before you leave the house to make sure it doesn’t constitute a tripping hazard. Oversized or awkward-fitting costumes can lead to numerous trips and falls, especially if your child is wearing a mask.
- Speaking of masks, try to avoid masks if possible. Choosing non-toxic makeup over masks grants your kids much better visibility. If your kids do wear masks, stick close by them when crossing the street and help them avoid objects they could trip over.
- Stay by your kid’s side. SafeKids recommends that any children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult while trick-or-treating. For kids 13 and over, require that they trick-or-treat with a group. A lone child is more susceptible to any potential danger.
- Inspect all of your kid’s candy before allowing them to eat it. Candy should be factory sealed; if candy appears to have been opened or tampered with, promptly throw it away. Also avoid homemade treats – even if there is no malicious intent, they could contain allergens or might not have been cooked properly.
- Stay away from scary clowns hiding in the woods!
Halloween is one of the most exciting and unique holidays on the calendar. Take the proper precautions so you and your children can make the most of trick-or-treating year after year. From all of us at Pelican Water, Happy Halloween!