Halloween holds great memories to me from my childhood. I grew up in the small town of Clinton, Indiana (yes, I’m an Indiana girl), we had two nights of trick or treating. Those two nights and a few leading up to those nights consisted of corning, soaping and T.P.ing and of course trick or treating. The actual two nights we would walk (a group of kids) the streets of the south end of town and end up with 2 grocery bags full of candy (I’m talking the paper bags not the plastic one’s ) This candy would actually last us till Easter.
In today’s world, I can’t imagine letting my son’s doing any of that…….of course today the corning, soaping and T.P.ing would get them in trouble with the police, but walking the streets alone and going to stranger’s houses…NO Way.
With that being said, let’s talk about some safety tips for Halloween.
Taking kids trick or treating
- Help your child make / pick-out a safe costume. One that is fire proof or treat it with flame retardant. If a mask, mare sure they have good peripheral vision
- If attending a sponsored event, always keep an eye on your kids. You don’t know who may be attending the event. It only takes a minute to look away and they could be gone
- Sorry to say, but you should check the internet on your local state website for any sex offenders and make your kids aware to stay away from those houses.
- Know the route your kids will be taking if you are not joining them. And send a cell phone along with them to keep in touch in case an emergency would happen. If possible it is best that you join them or make sure that there is an adult in the group.
- Teach your kids the difference between tricks and vandalism
- Also inform your kids…all candy will be inspected by you before they are allowed to eat it. Many hospitals offer free candy x-raying to look for metal objects. (I worked in Radiology for 25+ years and many years volunteered time to x-ray candy) If you want to have the candy x-rayed, call your local hospital first and ask if they offer this service. Just remember that x-rays will not detect chemical contaminants such as poison.
- Talk to your kids about not getting into a car with a stranger or to go into a stranger’s house to get candy.
- Carry a flashlight, light stick or wear reflective strips on your clothing to make yourself visible at night
- If the costume has a prop such as a sword, knife or scythe….make sure there are No sharp points or they are made out of flexible plastic. (In case of a fall or accidently poking)
- Make-up / face paint. Try the make-up prior to Halloween and wear for about 20 minutes to make sure that there is No allergic reaction.
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving, children will be wandering into the road and not paying attention
- Pay special attention when entering crosswalks / intersections and along the curbs. Kids will naturally run into these areas
- Drive below the speed limit during trick or treat hours while in a subdivision.
- Do not pass vehicles that have stopped….they may be dropping off children.
- If picking up children if possible pull completely off the road and turn on your flashers.
Pet safety during Halloween
- Never let your dog or cat have any chocolate. It can be deadly to them
- Be careful about letting your animals out during trick or treating hours. Some people could hurt them or they could be scared and run away or they could attack if they feel threatened.
- Candy wrappers if eaten could cause digestive problems in animals
- Jack-o-lanterns lit with candles could be dangerous if knocked off by a wagging tail or a curious cat.
- Pet customs could be stressful if the animal is not use to wearing outfits, and added stress to an already stressful night may be too much.
- If having an indoor party, make sure the animals have a safe quiet place to retreat to and make sure no alcohol is giving to your pets.
The information contained in the article is intended to serve as suggestions for basic safety practices. It is intended to provide basic guideline for safe practices using common sense.