Home Tip Tuesday: Staying Safe this Halloween

Preparation is key to a safe and happy Halloween.

It’s dark outside, cars are on the street, and excited kids are darting back and forth to take candy from strangers. This doesn’t sound exactly safe, but every year millions of families participate in this fun and quirky Halloween tradition we call “trick or treating.” Of course, it usually is all in good fun, but accidents can happen. Our Halloween safety tips will help ensure the only scares your kids have this year are the kind that make them smile.

1.  Costume Check
Costume safety has improved a lot over the years, but what your trick-or-treater wears—or don't wear—still matters.

  • Avoid masks as they obstruct vision
  • Make the costume shine with some type of illumination. Use reflective tape to brighten dark clothes
  • Check that costumes are short enough not to interfere with normal walking or running. And even ghosts need good walking shoes for a night of trick-or-treating
  • Props can make a costume great, but they can also cause injury and distraction. If props are a must, make sure they’re flexible, lightweight and easy to carry

2.  Where are the Scares?
Planning a trick-or-treating route ahead of time helps ease anxiety for younger kids who may feel a bit of real fright along with their excitement. It also gives older kids a plan to follow if they should get separated from their friends or guardian. Draw out a map of the neighborhood with your child, and highlight it with a glow-in-the-dark marker. Place the map in your child's candy bucket for easy access.

3.  Review the Rules of the Road
A quick reminder of basic road safety just before heading out will keep the rules fresh in everyone’s mind. Obvious things like staying on the sidewalk, looking both ways before crossing a street, crossing the street at corners and using crosswalks are easily forgotten when candy’s on the brain. Leave electronic devices at home so kids and those who are supervising won’t have added distractions.

4.  Adults Beware
Yes, having a bunch of kids running around your neighborhood or parading downtown while you’re trying to do errands can be annoying. But you still need to be extra alert and extra careful while driving. Slow down in residential neighborhoods, stop at every crosswalk, and enter and exit driveways and alleyways with care. Excited children can act in unexpected ways. Allow for extra time if you need to be somewhere, especially between 5:30 and 9:30pm which are peak trick-or-treating hours.

Checking through a child's candy and discarding any unwrapped candy or small toys that might be a choke hazard for toddlers is the final safety precaution of the night. Doing a candy check also gives parents the chance to sneak one or two mini-chocolate bars for themselves. We won't tell if you won't. 

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