Take a few minutes to go over these Halloween safety tips with your children before they go out trick-or-treating tonight.
- Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls and other bumps in the night.
- Wear light- or bright-colored costumes and use light-reflective tape.
- Children shouldn't wear a mask; it restricts vision. If a mask must be worn, cut large eye holes. Make-up is much safer than a mask because it doesn't obstruct vision.
- Toy weapons, wands, brooms, etc. should be made of paper or cardboard; they are safer than plastic, wood or metal.
- Put the child's name, address and phone number on the inside of their costume in case of an accident or lost child.
- Children should wear comfortable shoes; poor-fitting shoes are uncomfortable and may cause a fall.
- Trick-or-treat bags should not be too large; they can obscure vision or cause your child to trip.
- Make sure wigs and costumes are flame retardant.
Trick or treat safely:
- Eat a full meal before going out so children are not tempted to eat treats before they can be properly checked out. Tell your children not to eat treats until you have checked them out.
- Set a time limit for children to trick-or-treat. Plan your child's route and visit only homes in your neighborhood that are well-lighted
- Remind trick-or-treaters not to take short cuts through backyards, alleys or playing fields.
- Travel in a group or with an adult; never enter a home. Do not let children go alone.
- Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
- Cross streets at corners, never from between two vehicles.
- When crossing a street, STOP and LOOK both ways before crossing streets and LISTEN.
- Walk on the sidewalk or facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
- Watch for cars driving into or backing out of driveways.
Treats -- give them a safety check:
- Check for holes or loose wrappers, pour powdered candy into a container and look for discoloration or lumps.
- Don't eat opened candy, fruit, etc., unless you know the person it came from.
- Wash fruit, then cut into bite-size pieces.
- Soft candy should also be cut up into pieces before eating.
- Homemade treats should not be eaten unless you are absolutely sure they came from a safe source.
- Some hospitals will x-ray treat bag contents. Check with your local hospital for additional information.
Tricks -- tell your children:
- Remember, Halloween is a good time for dangerous strangers, so be careful.
- Don't play pranks. Damaging other peoples' property is considered vandalism and is a crime.
- If your child is the victim of a crime (stolen candy, intimidation, threats, etc.) either talk to the suspect's parents, or call the police if you wish to prosecute.
'Unhaunting' your home and neighborhood:
- Welcome trick-or-treaters at home by turning on your exterior lights.
- Do not light candles around the walkways. If you would like luminaries or to light a jack-o-lantern, use a battery operated light source or glow stick.
- Keep walkways unobstructed and well lit.
- Don't let anyone you don't know into your home.
- Remove objects from your yard that might present a hazard to visitors.
- Drive slowly all evening -- you never know what creature may suddenly cross your path.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the police.
- Host a family party.
- Join your neighbors for a theme block party.