Halloween is one of the most anticipated nights of the year for millions of children who can’t wait to dress up and score some candy. But in order to ensure a fun night in the neighborhood, it’s important to observe some basic safety precautions. Whether you’re taking the kids from house to house or staying home to greet the local monsters, follow these tips to make it a successful Halloween.
Rules of the Road
Parents must escort small children during trick-or-treating. While it’s important to bring a cell phone along, it’s equally important to avoid getting distracted by your devices when it’s time to watch after your child. And even though it’s an exciting night for the little ones, it’s best to walk, not run.
If you have children who are older and more mature, they may be ready to trick-or-treat on their own. But there should be some ground rules, beginning with a predetermined route in a familiar neighborhood. Try to plot out a route that sticks to sidewalks and doesn’t require crossing four-lane roads.
Caution your children to never enter a stranger’s home or car, and don’t let them go trick-or-treating alone. Agree upon a curfew, and make sure at least one child in the group has a cell phone for emergencies.
Many popular costumes are black or dark, which poses a safety risk after sunset. To make sure dark costumes are visible to drivers, children should always wear at least one prominent safety light or reflector. Colored LED safety lights are especially eye-catching and often have a long battery life, and accessorizing with reflective tape can make a costume safer and more original at the same time.
Every child should have a flashlight when trick-or-treating after dark. To help avoid stumbling or falling, they should wear comfortable, non-slip shoes. If a costume involves a mask, it’s best to remove the mask when walking from house-to-house and certainly when crossing a street.
If you’re staying home to pass out candy, you still have a few safety matters to see to. Be sure your porch light and other exterior lights are working properly and replace any burned-out bulbs. Clear all walking paths of tripping hazards like extension cords. If you have a pet, keep it away from the area where you’ll be greeting trick-or-treaters.
And if you need to drive on Halloween night, exercise more caution than usual. Excited children may dart into the street, and some may be wearing all black. So reduce your speed, keep your eyes on the road, and help everyone in your neighborhood stay safe throughout the spookiest night of the year.