Halloween fun doesn’t need an accident to interrupt the revelry. But there are so many opportunities for an accident to happen amidst all the trick-or-treaters as they run from house to house or attend a festive party. As you plan for this special day, take some time to develop a plan to keep everyone safe.
The National Safety Council’s research in 2015 revealed that over 1,100 people died when they improperly crossed roads or intersections and were hit by a vehicle. Lack of visibility because of low lighting or dark clothing was a prominent reason. Darting or running into the road accounted for about 15 percent of deaths in children ages 5 to 9 and seven percent of those from 10 to 15 years old. And October is the second most dangerous month for motor vehicle-related fatalities.
To help ensure that adults and children have a safe holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a list of Halloween Safety Tips, including do’s and don’ts for the trick-or-treat trail:
- A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children on their neighborhood trick-or-treat rounds.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route they will take to assure that it is acceptable to you.
- Agree on a specific time when children should return home.
- Strongly impress on your children that they go only to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat. It might also be an ideal time to go through their “stranger danger” responses just so they have them in mind.
Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices in their pocket, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street. Here are some more general trick-or-treat safety hints:
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- Swords, knives, and other accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see – and enable others to see you.
- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
- Never walk near lit candles or open flames.
- If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible.
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first, like a forearm.
- Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Motorists Need to be Especially Careful on Halloween
These safety tips are for parents and anyone who will be on the road on Halloween evening:
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
- If there is no oncoming traffic when driving on neighborhood streets, use your bright headlight setting.
Safety for Those who are Hosting (and Attending) Halloween Parties
The following tips will help make certain that everyone has fun and stays safe:
- Toss in a few healthier treats, such as fruit, nuts and other low-calorie treats and sugar-free drinks. A big bowl of Chex Mix is always a big hit with partygoers.
- Check all walking and gathering areas and stairs to make certain they are well-lit and free of obstacles to protect your guests from falling.
- Keep candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and other lights away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and especially curtains. Place them on sturdy tables. Keep them away from pets and small children. NEVER leave them unattended when candles are burning.
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