Safety Precautions for Halloween
Halloween means lots of fun for children, like candy, costumes, and trick-or-treating. But the holiday also presents risks. Parents worry about strangers luring children into homes or cars as well as candy that’s been tampered with.
Kids out at night can be hit by cars due to low visibility. The National Safety Council reports that children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
Here at Hare Wynn, we understand the devastating consequences that injuries to children have on families. We’ve compiled a list of Halloween safety tips to help families protect kids from car accidents and other dangers.
Safety Precautions for Trick-or-Treating
The combination of low visibility and children out at night can lead to fatal pedestrian accidents. Teach kids to walk safely by following these tips:
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right, and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
Strangers may try to lure children who are out alone on Halloween. Here are some safety precautions to take:
- A responsible adult should accompany children under 12.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review a route acceptable to you.
- Agree on a specific time that children should return home.
- Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car.
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
Well-lit areas, adult supervision, and trick-or-treating in groups can offer protection from both car accidents and strangers.
Halloween Driving Safety
Drivers have to be extra on Halloween. If you’ll be on the road, keep these safety rules in mind.
- 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.
- Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
- Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.
- Costume Safety
When selecting a costume, make sure it’s the right size to prevent your child from tripping and falling. Oversize or high-heeled shoes can also cause kids to trip.
Costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire-resistant. Nemours Kids’ Health recommends buying costumes labeled “flame-retardant” or using nylon or polyester materials if you make costumes.
Use face paint and makeup over masks if possible, as masks can obstruct vision. It’s important to make sure facepaint and makeup are non-toxic and test them on a small area first in case of allergies. Remove any makeup before kids go to bed to avoid skin and eye irritation.
Make sure any props like wands or swords are short and flexible. Don’t use colored or decorative contacts unless they are prescribed by a licensed eye doctor.
If children are trick-or-treating after dark, give them glowsticks or flashlights so they can be seen more easily by drivers. Decorating bags or costumes with reflective tape is also a smart idea.
Halloween Safety: Checking Candy
Tell your kids to wait until they get home before eating any candy. The FDA recommends checking Halloween candy for signs of tampering such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious and tell children not to accept goodies that aren’t commercially wrapped.
Don’t give hard candy or gum to small children since it’s a choking hazard. If your child has a food allergy, check the label and don’t allow him or her to have homemade Halloween treats.
About Hare Wynn
For more than 130 years, Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton has been helping individuals and families fight for their rights after someone else’s negligence caused harm and losses. Our trial lawyers have handled a wide range of cases. We have recovered over two billion dollars on behalf of our clients.
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