October 31st is Halloween ...a fun tradition that children look forward to but, the excitement of the night can cause children to forget about being careful. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but from falls, pedestrian/car crashes, and malicious acts of poisoning.
Accidents can be caused by unsafe costumes, cars, and poisoning. Keeping your child safe will ensure your family's safety and fun.
If you live in a neighborhood where trick or treating is not possible, find an alternative. Consider having a Halloween party or have your child attend another child's party. Plan Halloween themed games, show a movie, make little baskets of candy for each child to take home, have a candy hunt where you hide candy around the house. Check local schools or churches … some have Halloween activities for kids.
If your child is going to trick or treat, a safe place to trick or treat is in a shopping mall. Many malls have stores that hand out candy to children in costume on Halloween. Call and check for the date 2 weeks ahead of time, occasionally they will have it on the nearest weekend if Halloween falls on a weekday.
If your child is going to be trick or treating from house to house, the following safety precautions are important:
Accompany your child trick or treating or make sure your child is with a group of children who are accompanied
by a responsible adult you know and trust. If you do not accompany your child, make sure that your child, and
the adult who accompanies them knows this rule.
Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children's companions.
Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route. Instruct your child to walk on the sidewalk facing traffic, not on the street or lawns.
Make sure children know how to cross the street safely - crossing at corners and looking both ways for oncoming traffic.
Make sure your children know to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger's home.
Establish a return time.
Tell your children not to eat ANY treat until they return home.
Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case your children get separated from the group.
Check wrappers to make sure they're sealed and there are no holes. If anything looks remotely suspicious, throw it away.
Costumes should be made of flame-retardant materials.
Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
Costumes should be the correct length and proportions to prevent tripping hazards.
If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials.
Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
Masks can obstruct a child's vision. Use facial make-up instead.
When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with approved color additives," "Laboratory Tested," Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic."
Makeup should be non toxic and be patch tested at least 24 hours before use. To do this, clean a small area of skin, preferably on the inside of the elbow. Apply a small amount. Check the spot in 24 hours. If there is any redness or irritation, do not use the makeup.
If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
Masks should fit properly and have eye holes, not obstructing vision. Masks should also have nose and mouth holes for breathing.
Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials.
Do not allow children to carry sharp objects. Bags, sacks or canisters carried by kids should be light-colored or trimmed with reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
Children Should Know And Understand
Never to enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
To walk, not run, from house to house. They should not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards. They should walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
They should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks, and always cross at corners.
To ensure a safe trick-or-treat outing, parents are urged to:
Give children an early meal before going out.
Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
Wash fruit and slice into small pieces.
When in doubt, throw it out.
Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
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.