With Halloween approaching, neighborhoods will be teeming with festivities, food and fun. Here's a few safety tips to keep in mind when going about your evening or planning out your "trick or treat" fun:
Safety Tips for Motorists
Neighborhoods that don't normally have a lot of pedestrian and bicycle traffic may experience an increase on Halloween night. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, kids are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on Halloween night than on any other day of the year.
If you are driving on Halloween, be very alert and slow down. Make sure your headlights are on and be particularly cautious in areas where cars are parked along the side of the street. Remember – kids will be excited and may forget to "stop, look and listen" before they cross the street.
Costume Safety Tips
Regardless if your little one is dressed up as a witch, pirate or their favorite superhero this year, make sure costumes fit properly so children don’t trip and fall. Double check that your child’s costume is fire resistant and avoid masks or wigs that could impair a child's hearing or field of vision. If necessary, enlarge ear and eye holes, or use makeup to create special effects.
Don’t forget about the props! Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes. Also, be careful if your child’s costume has a toy sword or wand as these can unintentionally cause eye injuries.
Since it’s likely to be dark while your family is out and about on Halloween night, decorate or trim costumes, "goody bags," and other containers with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Reflective tape can be purchased at bicycle, hardware and sporting goods stores.
“Trick or Treating” Safety Tips
Before setting out for “trick or treating” discuss safety rules with your kids. Talk about the importance of only crossing the street at the corner or crosswalks and that they should never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. Before crossing the street, tell your children to look left, right and left again to make sure the path is clear and to stay with the group at all times. Stick to areas that are well lit and designate a sober adult to accompany children while “trick or treating” around your neighborhood.
Just Treats, No Tricks!
Wash your hands well before handing out candy to any trick-or-treaters. Be sure to have your kids wash their hands thoroughly before enjoying their loot. Examine all your child’s Halloween treats before they are eaten. Look for any signs of tampering and make sure that all packaging is intact and don’t allow your child to eat any treats that are not commercially packaged or has been prepared by strangers.
Remember – avoid trick-or-treating if your child has had a fever in the past 24 hours or is displaying any signs of illness to prevent the spread of infection to others and be sure that both you and your child have received your annual flu vaccine.
Here’s to a safe and healthy Halloween!
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