Halloween is a time for kids to dress up and have a little spooky fun. To ensure that Halloween night includes only happy memories, here are a few safety tips to consider:
1. Follow pedestrian safety rules. We all know the excitement level on Halloween is high and that kids can sometimes forget about normal safety rules. Remind them to still keep in mind basic rules – looking both way every time they cross a street, making sure they stop at intersections and wait for parents to cross the street. If they must cross in front of a car, making eye contact with the driver can help ensure the driver is more aware of their presence. Whenever possible use the sidewalk.
2. Pick a costume that reduces chance of injury. The best part about Halloween is getting to pick out your costume, and every kid normally knows exactly what they want to be for the big day. However, you also want your kids costume to be safe and warm. Whenever possible, opt for face paint over masks, which can reduce visibility. Also make sure they wear comfortable shoes. It will be a long night to begin with and you don’t want to have to carry them halfway through. Living in North Central Washington it can get cold so make sure they have room under their costume for leggings and long sleeve shirts. Make sure if your child is wearing a flowing costume that you have it hemmed so it doesn’t become a hazard along the way. Keep costumes short enough that there is little to no chance of tripping on them during the evening.
3. Stay with the group. Younger kids should always have adult supervision during trick or treating. Make sure you can see your child. If they need more independence, hanging back by the sidewalk can allow for a good balance of independence and safety.
Older kids may occasionally go out without parents (always at their parents’ discretion), but it’s important that they should always stay close to their friends. If you’re a parent or authority figure, talk to them as a group before trick or treating to emphasize sticking together. If one or two of them want to go home early, have the whole group walk together to drop them off.
4. Stick to well-lit areas. Well-lit areas help to reduce the risk of tripping on fallen sticks or running into low hanging branches. Areas with insufficient lighting increase the risk of drivers not seeing people walking in the dark. If your kids are older and going out in a group without you have them route their trick or treat path with you to avoid any poorly lit streets. (Great idea: have your child think of a costume that incorporates a headlamp or lights in their costume!)
5. Check over candy before eating. It is important to always check over your child’s candy. If your child has allergies, be sure to separate out any candy with potential allergens in advance to avoid any risk of exposure. Always look over all candy for torn or opened wrappers, or anything that looks suspicious, and discard anything that is not factory sealed or looks questionable in any way.
6. Drive extra safely on Halloween. You might not be out trick or treating but you may be out driving, heading home from a long day at the office. Make sure to slow down and be alert in residential neighborhoods. Take the time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and on curbs. Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully. Eliminate anything that may distract you while driving. Popular trick or treating hours are between 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
So get out there and have a night full of excitement and spookiness. We hope these tips help your Halloween be safe and enjoyable. And as always – if for some reason you encounter a scrape, bump, or fall – Confluence Health is here to help.