Kids love the mystic of Halloween: Dressing up in elaborate costumes, going out after dark, and trick-or-treating. Parents on the other hand are usually a little more apprehensive on October 31. Perhaps the reason is that, according to the National Safety Counsil (NSC), the month of October ranks No. 2 in motor vehicle deaths. Below are some tips to put parents at ease and to help kids have a safe Halloween.
- Small children should never carve pumpkins without adult supervision.
- Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy surface, away from flammable objects, pets, and visitors.
- Candlelit pumpkins should never be left unattended.
- Costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- Add reflective tape or stickers to costumes and accessories for greater visibility.
- Masks tend to obstruct vision, therefore choose face paint and makeup to improve vision.
- Makeup should be tested on a small patch of skin to eliminate negative reactions.
- Give your children glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be visible in the dark.
- Costumes and shoes should fit properly to prevent tripping and falling.
- Make sure swords, canes, and sticks are not too long and too sharp.
- Regardless of what the package says, do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.
- Remove all obstructive objects such as garden hoses, toys, and lawn decorations from the porch and front yard to avoid slip and falls.
- Check all outdoor lighting and replace burned-out bulbs.
- Wet leaves, fallen branches, and debris should be removed from sidewalks and steps.
- Restrain your pets so they do not inadvertently attack a trick-or-treater.
- Start trick-or-treating early.
- Adults should always escort young children when trick-or-treating.
- If your older children are going out alone, plan and review the route.
- Give your older children a curfew. Specify the time they should be home.
- Only go to homes that are lit or decorated with Halloween paraphernalia.
- Never enter a home or car for a treat; you might end up getting tricked.
- Stay in a group and use your cellphone to communicate your whereabouts.
- Stick to well-lit, familiar areas and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across private property, backyards, or alleys.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks.
- Look both ways when crossing any street. Keep looking as you cross.
- Take your time, don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing you.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Do not to eat any treats until you are home.
- Immediately notify law enforcement authorities if you see suspicious or unlawful activity.
Healthy Conscience Halloween
- Give your children a good meal prior to trick-or-treating to discourage them from filling up on candy.
- Consider buying other treats such as pens and pencils instead of candy for those visiting your home.
- Wait until your kids are home to sort and check the treats.
- Throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
- Ration your children’s treats for the days and weeks following Halloween.
- Drive carefully on Halloween.
- Slow down and be alert in residential areas.
- Take extra time to look for children at intersections and on curbs.
- Limit all distractions inside your vehicle and focus on the road and your surroundings.
- Turn your headlights on earlier than usual to spot children at greater distances.
- Trick-or-treating hours are usually between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. so be vigilant during those hours.
Who You’re Going To Call
These safety tips should help you avoid the real life horrors of Halloween. Always remember that you, the parents, are responsible for your children’s safety. Make sure you know your children’s whereabouts and teach your kids how to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
You may contact Mr. Sagan via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-FLA-LAWYER or read more about him and his law firm at www.1800flalawyer.com
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