Halloween is a very exciting time of year for both children and adults. The crisp, autumn air is here and the bold colors of the leaves are out in full force. Costumes and makeup are worn and decorations are hung. The candy is flowing and so are the smiles. Halloween can be a very fun holiday but can also be a pretty scary one. Here are a few tips for staying safe while trick-or-treating.
- Stay on the sidewalks. Each year dozens of people are hit by cars crossing the streets on Halloween. When you do cross the street, make sure that you are using designated cross walks. If crosswalks aren’t available, make sure to look both ways before entering the street. Keep your eyes and ears open. A car may not have its lights on or a headlight may have gone out. Bikes are also predators at night time. Many riders don’t have a safety light attached which makes them very difficult to see. Bikes also make little noise, so they are difficult to hear coming.
- Use cell phones. If you’re thinking about letting your child go out alone, give them a way to contact you. Call every fifteen minutes or so to check up on them. It can be hard to determine exactly where you are when the sun goes down, and trick-or-treaters often get lost. A cell phone may also deter potential offenders.
- Bright costumes. It’s good idea to make sure that costumes are brightly colored so that kids don’t blend in with the night. Even if your child is dressed as the grim reaper, a reflector on the front and back will not ruin the costume. It’s always better to play it safe, rather than to be sorry later.
- Don’t talk to strangers. Most parents are very adamant about preaching this piece of advice to their children. At the same time, many adults don’t think twice about striking up a conversation with someone they don’t know. It’s never a good idea to talk to strangers, especially when it’s dark outside. Make up a designated safe word for your child to use in case he finds himself in an uncomfortable situation. A word as simple as “peach” will alert you to get your child out of trouble if your attention is temporarily diverted.
- Check the candy. Check every single piece of candy before you let your children indulge. Whether or not the candy has been tampered with, open pieces should be discarded immediately.
Remember Trick-or-treating is a national pastime. Using good safety techniques will ensure that your family will have a great Halloween next year as well.