If you have kids, you know that Halloween is a big deal. "You mean I get to dress up and go around asking people for treats? Best. Holiday. Ever!"
But how can you ensure that this night will be spooky fun and not one you'll be spending in the emergency room if your little ones suffer frightening injuries? In this second part of our Halloween Safety Blog series, I offer tips for keeping your children safe when they're out trick or treating.
See, Breathe, and Don't Go Up In Flames
Good costumes should be scary or cute – but most importantly they should be safe! Avoid masks or other face coverings that obscure sight lines or make breathing difficult, and always ensure costume materials are flame retardant. With our unpredictable Canadian weather, you should also make sure the costume can accommodate heavier coats, glove and hats.
Bright Is Best
Witchy black and swamp monster green might look cool under bright house lights, but they can be difficult to see on dark streets. If your children's costume is full of dark colours, ensure they wear plenty of reflective tape and glow sticks to light up the night. If you can convince them to be a bright shining star or crisp white ghost, they will be much more visible to drivers. Finally, flashlights with full-battery power are always a great addition to any costume.
Go With Adults Or Lots Of Friends
Be sure to plan your route in advance and let others know where you'll be walking and when you expect to return. Children under 12 should always be accompanied by an adult when out trick or treating; older kids who may not need direct supervision should still plan to go in larger groups. There is safety in numbers!
Know Names And Numbers
Speaking or numbers, all trick o treaters should know two: 911 for emergencies and a safe person's home or cell number. Even young children should know how to call for help if they get lost or separated from a group. Including a child's name, your name, and an emergency contact number somewhere on their costume will help them in case they are too scared to remember who to call. Whether you accompany your kids or permit older children to go with their friends, at least one person in a group should carry a cell phone.
Stay On Sidewalks
Children pedestrians are four times more likely to be injured in vehicle accident on Hallowe'en than on a regular day – more than any other day of the year!1 Most accidents occur away from crosswalks.2 Reduce the risk by staying on sidewalks, only crossing at cross walks, and never assuming a car will see you and stop. Teach your kids to try to meet eyes with a driver before crossing so they know they've been seen.
When going from house to house, never cross yards – stay on sidewalks, walkways and driveways. Children should only approach houses with lights on inside and outside for the greatest visibility. And remember, no child should ever enter a stranger's home.
Inspect And Sort
Before letting your little ones get a sugar rush, inspect and sort all treats. Remove any with broken wrappers or seals and if your child has allergies, be sure to check out the ingredients and manufacturing process for any unfamiliar items.
Fun For All
Without a doubt, Halloween is one of the most fun nights of the year for children – and adults! By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that these good times are not spoiled by a serious injury.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.