Parents are always concerned about their young children receiving unsafe candy or finding themselves in unsafe situations on this controversial holiday. It is especially important to educate children on the potential problems they face.
Keep Children Safe
In preparation for the upcoming Halloween festivities, there are several things that every parent or adult can do to create a safer environment for children.
- Children should always wear some type of reflective clothing or wear reflective stickers so they can be easily seen on Halloween. This is extremely important, regardless of age since there is much more outdoor activity on Halloween than other evenings and nights. Traffic and pedestrians do not mix well on this evening!
- Make sure clothing is flame-retardant.
- If trick-or-treating is allowed, only visit the homes of people who are familiar and trusted. And always accompany a child to the door. Only visit well-lit houses and never allow the child to enter the house. Stay on the front porch or in the front yard.
- Children will often trip and fall over long costumes, baggy pants, and hanging hemlines. Make sure clothes are not too long, creating a tripping hazard.
- Keep children warm. Halloween can turn into a cold night quickly. Costumes are usually flimsy and not very warm. Make sure children wear warm clothing under costumes to keep them warm and healthy.
- Use flashlights and keep groups of children close together.
- Obey all traffic signs and stop at intersections when crossing streets. Watch carefully for oncoming cars or vehicles backing out of driveways. Never cross the street between parked cars, but use designated cross-walks instead.
Create a Safe Environment
Preparing for trick-or-treaters is important too. The following tips will make the event safer for everyone:
- Keep front porch lights turned on for safety.
- Make sure sidewalks, walkways, and front porches are clear of clutter to avoid slips and falls.
- Take precautions with jack-o-lanterns and make sure they are not a fire hazard. Keep any open flames away from children and walkways.
- Only provide candy or treats in sealed packages. Homemade goodies are usually tossed out and wasted. Many children are also allergic to peanut butter and other ingredients contained in many foods made at home.
- If driving, drive cautiously and watch for children crossing the street. Give them the right of way and help them remain safe. When leaving a house or other place, pull or back out carefully, watching for small children who may be difficult to spot.
- Inspect all candy before it is eaten by children and toss out anything that is not securely wrapped and sealed, or anything that looks at all suspicious.
- Never drop children off in a neighborhood they are not familiar with and do not leave them unattended even in familiar neighborhoods.
Enjoy Halloween Festivities Responsibly
Halloween is a fun time for children and adults. Trick-or-treating can be fun but it must also be safe for all children. Safety is critical during Halloween evening and night. Pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involving children are 4.5 times higher than the levels of other nights of the year according to the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). With more people out on Halloween night and greater vulnerability of children, this means that Halloween is a risky time for children to be out and about. Parents must be diligent about over-seeing children’s safety and enforcing important rules, curfews, and other expectations.
Don’t leave safety to chance. Take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe. Enjoy the fun and festivities of the Halloween traditions while keeping a cautious eye on the little ones.