“With more than 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million last year, spending is slated to reach a record high in survey history. This year, consumers are expected to spend $9.1 billion, up from $8.4 billion in 2016” (National Retail Federation).
Halloween is easily one of the favorite holidays of children, second only to Christmas. If you are planning on celebrating this favorite time of the year with your children, here are some tips to help keep your kids safe this Halloween:
- Cross the street only in well-lit areas at corners, and make sure you are using traffic signals and crosswalks to stay safe and visible by drivers on the road.
- Look left, right and left again each and every time you need to cross the road and keep looking around for approaching cars as you cross the road.
- Put electronic devices down, don’t wear headphones while walking, and make sure you keep your head up and always walk, not run, across the street.
- Teach children that they need to make eye contact with drivers at crosswalks and stop signs before crossing to ensure that the driver does indeed see them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths or if there are none walk as far from the edge of the road as possible and take rotes with the fewest intersections.
- Watch for cars backing up and making turns and teach your children to not run between cars or to walk between parked cars.
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision and it’s always safer to walk in a group of trusted kids and adults.
Keep Costumes Both Creative and Safe
- Decorate children’s costumes and goodie-bags with reflective tape or stickers and, whenever possible choose costumes that are light in color.
- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes so that you minimize issues with blocked vision, trips, and falls.
- Test makeup ahead of time in a small area to ensure your child is not allergic to it or have an adverse reaction to full face makeup.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights with them so they can see easier to walk and so they are more visible to drivers and other pedestrians
- Swords, knives, and other costume accessories and props need to be short, soft, and flexible so they do not injure your child or someone else.
- When selecting a costume for your child’s Halloween fun, make sure it is the right size so the risk of tripping and falling is reduced.
Drive Extra Safely on Halloween
- If you have to drive around on Halloween slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and watch for kids anywhere you go.
- Children are excited on Halloween and can run out suddenly or scamper across yards and intersections and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time double check for any kids at intersections, on the sidewalks, on medians and roadsides, and on curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully and make sure you check behind you carefully before backing out of driveways and parking areas.
- Eliminate any distractions inside your vehicle and be sure you are able to fully concentrate on the road, the surroundings, and the route you are taking.
- Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Popular hours in most areas for Trick-or-Treating are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert during these hours and watch for additional pedestrian activity.
Additional Safety Tips
- Examine all treats that you child brings home and check for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
- To keep your kids healthy and safe following the Halloween celebrations, limit the amount of treats they eat at once so they do not get sick or develop cavities.
- Eat only factory-wrapped treats and do not eat any homemade treats you receive that were made by strangers or people you do not know well.
- Enter homes only if your parent or trusted adult is with you, only go to homes that are well lit, and its best to go as a group up to any house.
- Never walk near lit candles or luminaries to avoid the risk of a fire injury and make sure your child is wearing a flame-resistant costume.
- Try and keep pets at home if possible because as cute as they are, they can get in the way and lead to accidents and injuries, especially in large crowds.