Halloween is a fun time of year for children and adults. With the excitement of free candy, costume dress-ups and other festivities, it can be easy to forget about basic safety. If you have children who will be trick-or-treating this year, here are some tips to consider to help keep them safe.
Scope out the schedule
Halloween falls on a Thursday this year, and the trick-or-treating hours or dates may vary where you live. The most popular starting time is Halloween evening at dusk, but check your community resources for the local schedule. Malls, amusement parks and even business districts may have their own specific trick-or-treating times.
Prepare a plan
Agree on a trick-or-treating plan with your children. This may include where they will go (familiar areas only), how they will check in with you and when they will return home. Location tracking smartphone apps like the “location sharing” feature in the Google Maps app can help you keep tabs on them when they’re out on their own. It’s a good idea to make sure their phones are fully charged, and consider providing them with a backup portable charger.
Be bright in the night
Safety is also important to consider when selecting a costume each year. While dark outfits make for spooky attire, these can be difficult for motorists to see. Bright colors, reflective materials and light-up elements all help with visibility. Furthermore, avoid costumes that obstruct vision, create tripping hazards, are flammable or have hard, sharp points. Providing children with flashlights to carry will also increase visibility and make navigating in the dark safer.
Review the rules
Be sure younger children are accompanied by an adult or responsible older child. It’s safest only to visit well-lit homes, and children should never enter a stranger’s home, garage or vehicle. You may also wish to have your children wait before eating any candy they collect until you’ve had a chance to check it.
Stay sharp on the streets
Traffic safety is extra important on Halloween. With the reduced visibility of night, the excitement of the evening and modern distractions like smartphones, the risk of traffic accidents is high. Consider reviewing basic safety suggestions with your children, including these pedestrian safety tips.
Enjoy a healthful haul
It’s always a good idea to be mindful of your children’s health as they consume their candy. Before they dig in, you may want to check their haul for damaged items, choking hazards and potential allergens. If your children are prone to binging on sweets, you may want to hold onto their stash for safe keeping and limit them to several pieces a day. For tips on making your own home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, click here. By following these tips, you can help ensure that everyone has a fun and safe Halloween experience.