Halloween is perhaps the most exciting time of the year for kids of all ages. Although Halloween celebrates spooky things, this doesn’t mean we should throw caution in the air because every child’s safety and security deserves special attention. To keep Halloween fun and safe for children, here are important safety tips you need to observe:
All Dressed Up, Children’s Safety Tips for Parents
- Give your children a phone and teach them how to call 911 in case an emergency strikes.
- Train your child to say a big flat “NO” if a stranger tries to get them into accepting something they do not want. This applies to treats and unwelcome advances.
- Encourage older children to be accompanied by their siblings or friends when they are going out and about.
- Use light or illuminating colors to decorate costumes and bags to be worn by children. Reflective stickers and tapes can also be used for this purpose.
- Kids should not put on vision enhancing colored contact glasses, if they are not approved by an eye care clinician.
- When buying Halloween costumes, masks and other accessories for your child, make sure they are non-toxic and fire resistant.
- The costumes you choose for your child, must be of the right size to prevent accidental falls and tripping.
- Halloween make-up on children should be removed before the kid’s go to sleep to prevent them from contracting eye and skin irritation.
- Instruct your children to avoid cutting through back alleyways and wary grounds, especially when they are out unaccompanied.
- Institute a curfew and make sure it is strictly followed. To enforce this rule, hand your children a watch and have someone responsible go with them.
- Tell your kids not to eat any treats given to them until they get home to have the treats inspected.
- Small children should be encouraged to paint faces on pumpkins using markers instead of carving out shapes. At the same time, candle lit pumpkins should be placed in a safe location away from flammable objects.
- Pets should be restrained to guard against jumping or biting as this could place the safety of children at risk.
Halloween Trick and Treating Tips
- If your child is under age 13, he should be accompanied by an adult at all times. Unsupervised kids should restrict their movements to familiar, well lit areas which to minimize the risk of mugging and abduction. Walking in groups is a highly recommended deterrent.
- Sit down with your kids and discuss the itinerary of your trick and treating.
- The props used by children should be flexible and blunt to avert injury. This is especially true if a sword or cane constitutes a part of your child’s decorative costume.
- Consider taking your kids to a nearby community Halloween event such as the shopping center and other public places for kids to ensure their safety in the company of a large gathering.
- Dress your child according to the day’s weather.
- One of the biggest highlights of Halloween for children is begging tricks and treats from passersby and neighbors. To keep your children well informed, tell them that the most popular time for trick or treating is between 5:00pm to 9:30pm.
Safety Driving Tips during Halloween
During Halloween a lot of things happen at the same time. Hordes of treaters and tricksters are out and about and traffic is always heavy, especially at night. Studies have shown that the risk of accidents involving both pedestrians and motorists increases substantially during Halloween and children are especially at high risk. To minimize the risk of accidents during Halloween, you need to do the following:
- Avoid using cell phone and other electronic communication devices while driving.
- Drive below the set speed limit when passing through areas of residence at night.
- Accompanied and unaccompanied children should avoid walking on the streets and instead walk on the much safer sidewalks. In addition, kids should be guided to walk on the left wing of the road while facing the oncoming traffic when walking on streets with no sidewalks.
- When crossing the road, teach your children to look, left, right and left again to see if there is any oncoming traffic before crossing the road.
- When driving, avoid overtaking other vehicles that are stationed to drop or pick children to minimize the risk of accidents.
- Take utmost precaution when driving at intersections, crosswalks, curbs and medians.
- Child predators may take advantage of Halloween to commit crimes. For this reason, instruct your child to avoid treats or maneuvers from strangers. It is also important to alert your child about the dangers of getting into car that belong to someone they do not know.
- When dropping or picking kids, keep your hazard signs on and make sure the car is stationed in a safe spot away from the traffic.
Halloween Safety Tips for Children with Special Needs
- Wear the right type of costume – choose a costume that makes your child visible, especially in the dark. You can also hand them a glowing stock or flashlight to carry around wherever they go.
- Prepare the kids for the tricks ahead – it is very important to prepare kids for what to expect when going out on Halloween to reduce anxiety and make them feel they are part of the fun. This is important because Halloween is replete with witches, skeletons and goblins and other scary stuff, including spooky sounds and art forms that could upset children.
- Accompany the child – children with special should be accompanied to the Halloween events. If the child is old enough to perform trick or treating independently, it is wise to link him or her with an older family member, friend or group of people you know.
- Ensure proper vision – check everything a child wears, from the face mask to the costume to ensure your child’s vision is unobstructed.