Come Halloween, youngsters’ attentions are understandably focused on costumes and candy. Their parents, however, are likely more concerned with their kids’ safety. Trick-or-treating kids might not pay much mind to safety. As a result, it can be hard for parents to get kids to grasp the importance of being safe on Halloween. The following strategies might make that task easier.
• Discuss costumes well in advance of Halloween. Many kids are so enthusiastic about Halloween that they know which costumes they hope to wear long before October 31. Parents can discuss potential costumes well in advance of Halloween before kids even know what they want to wear. Doing so gives parents a chance to encourage kids to choose bright costumes that will make them more visible to drivers on Halloween night. Waiting to discuss costumes increases the likelihood that kids will already have an outfit in mind, making it harder for parents to convince them to choose something safe.
• Explain that some tailoring might be necessary to make gathering all that candy a lot easier. Superman doesn’t trip on his cape in the movies, and youngsters dressed up as the Man of Steel shouldn’t trip on their capes, either. When kids pick costumes, explain to them that you might need to do some tailoring before they go trick-or-treating. Explain to kids that costumes should be trip-proof so they can seamlessly go from house to house in search of their favorite goodies.
• Create a bag or bucket design day. Depending on what kids will use to carry the candy they accumulate this Halloween, parents can plan a bag or bucket design day a few days in advance. Kids will enjoy this chance to get in the Halloween spirit, and parents can encourage youngsters to decorate their bags and buckets with reflective tape that will make them more visible to drivers.
• Talk up trick-or-treating with friends. As Halloween approaches, parents can discuss how much fun kids will have going door-to-door with many of their friends. This is a good way to ensure kids trick-or-treat in large groups, making them more visible to drivers. In addition, kids trick-or-treating in large groups might be too busy joking with their friends to notice when one or two parents tag along as chaperones. Parents can discuss Halloween safety with their children in ways that make it fun to be safe while trick-or-treating.
Thousands of costume-clad children will embark on treat-finding missions in neighborhoods all across the country this Halloween. Everyone wants their Halloween festivities to be fun, but it is important that trick-or-treaters and their chaperones prioritize safety as well.
The child welfare organization Safe Kids says that twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year. In addition, the National Safety Council states that darting out or running into the road accounts for about 70 percent of pedestrian deaths or injuries among children between the ages of five and nine and about 47 percent of incidents for kids between the ages of 10 and 14.
Ensuring trick-or-treating youngsters are visible to motorists can make Halloween safer for everyone involved. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other safety groups suggest the following strategies for safe trick-or-treating.
· Supervise the festivities. Adults should chaperone young trick-or-treaters who are unlikely to be focused on safety in the midst of Halloween excitement.
· Use reflective tape or LED lights. Dark costumes coupled with twilight can make it difficult for motorists to see trick-or-treating youngsters. Parents can improve the chances of their kids being seen by motorists by adhering reflective tape onto kids’ costumes. Glow sticks and wearable LED lights also can illuminate trick-or-treaters.
· Carry lanterns or flashlights. Children and/or chaperones who carry flashlights and lanterns can improve their own visibility while also making themselves more visible to motorists. Lanterns and flashlights help trick-or-treaters avoid holes, cracked pavement and other obstacles. For those children who want to free up their hands for better treat gathering, lights that strap to the head are an option.
· Keep the lights on. Homeowners can do their part by keeping outdoor flood lights and accent lighting on to make paths safer for youngsters on the prowl for Halloween candy.
· Choose face makeup over masks. Children wearing masks may not spot oncoming cars or other hazards. Face makeup won’t affect kids’ visibility but will still help them look scary.
With the right combination of caution and fun, Halloween can be an enjoyable time for youngsters and adults.
Halloween can be an exciting time for kids and family to celebrate creativity and the changing of the seasons. Okay, and let’s not forget the candy!! When heading out to go trick-or-treating, there are a few simple safety tips that can make all the difference:
• Trick or treat as a family: Stay in a group and have small children accompanied by a responsible adult
• Plan your route: Planning ahead can help save time and confusion in case anyone would go missing
• Designate a meet-up spot: If someone gets separated from the group, everyone will be on the same page of where to meet up
• Reflective gear: Make sure you are visible – Carry a flashlight, glow stick and/or wear reflective patches on your costume/jacket.
• Candy check: Tell kids not to eat candy until they have let a responsible adult double-check. Look for any torn wrappers, opened packages and unfamiliar items.
For more helpful Halloween tips, visit the following recommended links: