Trick or treat? It is almost Halloween, a favorite holiday for many children and adults alike. Halloween can, however, be scary. The scare for most parents is not from ghosts, ghouls and goblins, but is instead based on the reality of their children out at night walking along busy roads. If you plan to participate in Halloween festivities this year, below are five tips to help keep your family safe:
- Be Afraid of the Dark
Trick or treating is typically done at dusk or at night. Roads and sidewalks are black or gray and a child in a dark colored costume is very hard for on-coming traffic to see. Light colors are much more visible. No matter the color of your child’s costume, you should consider reflective vests, tape, bands or other reflective items added to both the front and back of the costume so that your child will be more visible to on-coming traffic.
2. Do not get too Wrapped-up in an Intricate Costume
Halloween costumes that are too big, too long, have parts that drag the ground, restrict movement or that are otherwise ill-fitting can cause a child to trip, become entangled or can come in contact with the flame from a near-by jack-o-lantern. Make sure your child’s costume fits well so that he or she can move around safely. You should check labels with purchasing costumes to make sure they are flame retardant. Costumes with large hoods or masks can also make it difficult for a child to see. Instead, try face paint or a hat to get the desired look without reducing your child’s visibility.
3. Light Your Way
Having a flashlight handy is always a good idea. Not only are flashlights fun (especially when they look like a light saber, magic wand or other costume accessory), but they are also practical. Uneven walking surfaces, potholes, and other hazards can be seen by simply using a flashlight, which will prevent your child from trips, falls and injuries.
4. Safety in Numbers
Young children should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating. If you have older children that are able to go without an adult, make sure they go with a friend or group and plan the route and neighborhood(s) for them in advance. Even if your child does not have a cell phone, sending a cell phone for use in case of emergencies is a good idea. Be sure to remind older children to stay on sidewalks, crosswalks and other pedestrian areas. They should be reminded that alleys, yards and unlit areas can be dangerous.
5. Home Sweet Home
If you plan on handing out holiday treats, be sure to make your sidewalk, steps, porch and entry way safe for children. Jack-o-lanterns are tradition, but consider using glow sticks or lights instead of candles. Candles can be a fire hazard, specifically when placed near decorations, curtains, dry leaves or twigs, or where they could be knocked over. All decorations should be placed outside of walking areas so that they do not create a trip hazard or present any other dangers.
Everyone at Tatlow, Gump, Faiella & Wheelan, LLC wishes you and your family a safe and happy Halloween.