24 Ways to keep your kids safe this Halloween.

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As the nights grow colder and the leaves hint at changing color, we know it’s almost time for the spookiest of all the holidays, Halloween. October 31 is the perfect opportunity to take out our creepy costumes, decorate the house, and prepare for a ghoulishly good time with the kids. But while Trick or Treating might be a childhood activity, it’s not something that parents should take lightly. In fact, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. Therefore, there are many precautions that should be taken for Halloween, yet it’s reported that only 1 in 3 parents even talk to their children about the dangers of the night, despite the fact that 3 out of every 4 adults actually have serious concerns about their children’s health.

So in order to keep our kids safe and happy this Halloween, here are some great tips for children, parents, and neighbors to share regarding safety:

  1. Ask your kids not to eat their candy as they collect it. This way, when they return home, you can sort through their supply and throw away anything that looks suspicious. Some parents purchase their own assorted candy and give that to their kids, throwing out what was gathered from strangers.
  2. If your children do happen to munch on their candy while out Trick or Treating, make sure they’re aware never to eat candy that’s not packaged or wrapped.  Don’t eat apples, home made treats, or anything not still in its original seal.
  3. When giving out candy to visiting Trick or Treaters, even if wrapped, make sure there are no choking hazards in the form of small toys or similar items wrapped in with the sweet.
  4. That time of year, the potential exists for large amounts of fall foliage to be on the ground, raked to the side of the street for pick up. These leaf piles can look inviting to passing children who want to jump around and play in them, but advise your kids not to do this, as passing motorists might not see someone amongst the leaves.
  5. Children should always been supervised by an adult and encouraged never to wander off alone, instead walking in a group. Also remind your children not to accept rides from any strangers, and definitely not enter a stranger’s house.
  6. Parents should fasten reflective tape to their children’s costumes. By taking this precaution, drivers will be able to easily spot children walking around the streets at night.
  7. Give your kids, and any accompanying adults, flashlights to carry, wrapped right around their wrist so they won’t drop them.
  8. Before your kids even leave the house, have a route planned for them for their night of Trick or Treating, including designated street crossing points, safe houses they are allowed to enter, of friends or family in case they need to use the bathroom or warm up, and a meeting point in case anyone gets separated.
  9. Make sure your children are aware of the rules of the road, like to look both ways when crossing, use crossing points or traffic lights when possible, and not trust motorists to stop at stop signs.
  10. Children should always walk on the sidewalk, unless there isn’t one and then they should walk on the far edge of the road facing oncoming traffic, but never run into the street.
  11. Instead of having your children wander the neighborhood trick or treating, organize a Halloween party at your house or at school or a community center.
  12. Whether you’re purchasing your child’s costume from a shop or creating it yourself, make sure it fits correctly so they can walk without tripping, their vision isn’t impaired, and the costume is flame resistant.
  13. Try and avoid the use of a mask for your child’s costume, as they can make it difficult to see or even breathe. If your child is set on wearing a mask, test it out the night before to ensure the eyeholes are large enough so they can see clearly.
  14. To avoid an allergic reaction, test any makeup or face paints you might want to use on Halloween on a small area of your children’s skin a couple of days before the big night.
  15. To avoid fire risks, use electric lights in Jack o’ lanterns and electric candles.
  16. Make your children aware of the risks of open flames and stays clear of them. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire, just in case.
  17. To prevent injuries to your child or fellow Trick or Treaters, make sure that any sword, stick, or cane that’s part of your child’s costume is made of shatter proof plastic with no sharp tips or edges.
  18. Check with an eye care professional before allowing your children to wear decorative contact lenses. Many of the lenses that claim to be safe can actually cause scratching, infections, or injuries to children.
  19. As much as your kids might want to carve the Halloween pumpkins, it’s probably a job for adults since sharp knives are involved. But you can allow your children to draw creative faces on the pumpkin with a magic marker.
  20. To avoid any injuries to Trick or Treaters, ensure your walkway, front steps, and porch are clear of obstructions and not slippery, and that your outdoor lights work.
  21. Consider your pets on Halloween, too, by putting dogs and cats in a side room in the house or somewhere else quiet and portioned off from all the action. This way, when answering the door for Trick or Treaters, your pet won’t be tempted to rush at visitors or try and run outside.
  22. Even though you should always have an adult supervising Trick or Treaters, have you children wear whistles to attract attention if the need arises, as well as an index card with their name, phone number, address, emergency contact numbers and any important medical information on it.
  23. To avoid the dangers of children walking around in the dark, let them go out earlier, perhaps the late afternoon when it’s mostly light out.
  24. It might be a good idea for your child to carry a cell phone that night for emergency use. Take the time beforehand to show them how to use it properly, and have your home phone number and 911 on speed dial.

 

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