Halloween is an exciting occasion for many children, affording them the opportunity to dress in costume and bring home an impressive haul of candy from the night's trick-or-treating. At the same time, however, Halloween is unfortunately a dangerous day for kids: on average, children are twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car on October 31st than on any other day of the year.
With this sobering reality in mind, how will you keep your children safe on Halloween? You probably won't ban them from going outside altogether, but you're bound to keep a more watchful eye and likely accompany them as they go trick-or-treating. There are simple steps you can take to significantly lessen the likelihood of tragedy and ensure your kids have a nice time. Here are some basic Halloween safety tips:
- Reflectors: Decorate costumes or bags with reflective tape or stickers. If possible, use light colors for costumes.
- Don't Obstruct: Instead of masks, try to use non-toxic face paint when possible. Masks tend to obstruct children's vision, and remember, chances are they're also walking in the dark.
- Light the Night: Give your children glow sticks or flashlights to highlight their visibility to motorists on the road.
- Chaperones: Children under 12 should be accompanied by parents. Teenagers should at the very least be in groups and go only to safe, well-lit areas.
- Time is Key: Typical trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM. If neighbors don't have their lights on, they either aren't home or they don't have any candy to hand out.
- Fashion vs. Function: Your children's costumes should be the right size in order to keep them from slipping, tripping or falling. As much as kids want to have an amazing costume, make sure it's practical to prevent injury.
Source: Safe Kids Worldwide