Halloween is a night of fun and fright, but it does require extra caution when it comes to keeping your little monsters safe. Sheriff Dowies offers these Halloween safety tips from the National Neighborhood Watch to help avoid common accidents and dangers.
1. Provide adult supervision
Trick or treat is safer – not to mention more fun – in groups, and adult supervision is essential. So, get together with other adults and make an evening of it. Bring cellphones for quick pictures and emergencies, but leave them in your pockets to avoid getting distracted.
2. Stay on the sidewalks or far edge of road facing traffic
The thrill of the holiday often factors into accidents as excited kids rush from door to door. Keep children on the sidewalks, and shepherd them carefully when they need to cross the road. In areas without sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road, facing traffic.
3. Carefully check candy
Check candy for choking hazards like gum and hard candies. Throw away any candy that is not sealed with a wrapper and avoid homemade treats received from strangers.
4. Choose bright, visible costumes
When selecting a costume, opt for the bright-colored outfits and add a touch of reflective tape to the material. Stick some reflective tape on their trick-or-treat bags as well so they can be easily spotted by motorists. Lastly, don’t forget to make sure they’re equipped with a flashlight or glow stick – must-have accessories for any costume.
5. Make sure costumes are well-fitted and safe
Being visible isn’t the only safety consideration for a costume. The right fit is just as important. Here’s some advice on keeping your child’s ensemble safe and secure:
Prevent accidental tripping or entanglement by making sure costumes aren’t too big or long
Avoid masks that block vision, but if your child wears one – it should have large eye, nose and mouth openings. You can also op for makeup or face paint as an alternative
Costumes, wigs and accessories should contain a label indicating they are flame resistant
Make sure accessories such as swords, canes, or sticks are not sharp or too long
6. Makeup safety
If makeup is a part of your child’s Halloween costume plans, make sure it is non-toxic and test it on a small area first. Before your child goes to bed, make sure to remove all makeup.
8. Home decoration safety
If you’re turning your home into a haunted house, keep safety in mind: make sure steps, sidewalks, porches and paths are well-lit and free of decorations and holiday props. Keep decorations away from fireplaces and candles.
Residents are encouraged to prepare their homes for trick-or-treaters. Clear sidewalks and pathways of any obstacles, and put away anything children could trip over such as hoses, toys, or yard decorations. Turn on your lights so your property is well-lit, and replace any burnt bulbs before Halloween. Secure pets so that they will not attack or frighten anyone.
Remind children to stay in front of residences giving out candy and NEVER enter a residence. Have a plan if you and your child(ren) get separated.
9. Take precaution against pranks and vandalism
Unfortunately, vandalism often increases during Halloween. That’s why taking these precautions is a good idea:
If you’re going away during Halloween, make it seem like you’re still home by covering your garage windows, and leaving your curtains in normal positions with valuables out of sight.
· Install outdoor lighting (activated by a photocell or movement) to illuminate the area around your home during Halloween.
· Consider purchasing a security system that directly alerts police to intruders.
· Trim shrubs and large trees before Halloween so trespassers have fewer hiding spots.
· Make sure your homeowners insurance policy is up-to-date.
10. Use extra caution while driving
Drivers need to take particular care on this chaotic night. Keep your car parked if you can, but if you have to drive through a neighborhood, take it much slower than normal. Watch for kids who may dart between cars and into the road without looking. Read our Halloween Driving Safety Guide for more useful tips.
11. Protect your car
Cars are another common target of vandalism on Halloween. Here are some ways you can help secure your car:
· Park inside if you can on Halloween. Your garage is your best bet. If you do not have a garage you may want to consider investing in some outdoor lighting for your driveway and yard.
· Make sure your car is locked on Halloween. Oftentimes, vandals complete their missions with ease when doors are unlocked and windows are down/cracked.
· Hide your valuables on Halloween. Don’t give thieves any extra incentive to break into your car.