Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and pumpkin-flavored everything is popping up everywhere – Ladies and Gentlemen, Fall is finally here. Along with this long-awaited beginning of the coziest season yet comes one of the most popular holidays around – Halloween! Here are some helpful tips and advice to ensure both fun and safety during your trick-or-treating adventures for kids, teens, and adults alike.
Before you get started…
- Keep costumes both creative and safe.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers.
- Face paint and makeup are better than masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
- Have children carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Make sure the costume is the right size to prevent trips and falls. If possible, choose a light-colored costume.
While you’re walking…
- Only cross the street at corners with traffic signals or crosswalks.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing and pay attention as you cross the street.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up.
- Walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. (Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.)
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
While going door-to-door…
- 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.
- 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.
- Only approach houses with a partner and stick to porches that are well lit.
- Be mindful of allergies when selecting which candy you’d like to eat or pass out.
While you’re driving…
- Drive VERY slow. Be VERY alert. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians, and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
- Eliminate as many internal distractions as possible to concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
- Anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
If you have a teenager…
- Review the importance of obeying the law. Sit down with your child and discuss private property, town curfews, and alcohol regulations.
- Remind them of your house rules and be upfront that police are patrolling and looking for misbehaving teens.
- If they are going to a party, speak to the parents of the host to ensure it will be chaperoned.
- Review driving safety. Remind your teen that both young children and intoxicated drivers will be on the roads that evening.
- If your kids are going to a party, tell them to keep an eye on their drink. Once they have put it down, they should not drink it again.
- Clearly discuss with your teen where they can and cannot go.
- Track their whereabouts with apps like Snapchat or Find my iPhone.
- Limit the number of friends in a car. Be proactive and remove distractions for your teen driver and limit the number of kids allowed to ride.
Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. so be especially alert for young children during those hours. Also, kids under the age of 12 should NOT be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and/or trick-or-treat in groups.
HAVE FUN! Enjoy the day in your own safe and responsible way. Connect with family and friends alike and make this Halloween one to pleasantly remember!