Halloween should be a thrilling and exciting time of the year, but it should also be a safe evening for all the ghosts and goblins that will be knocking on neighborhood doors. To make sure that this Halloween and the many to follow are safe, children and parents should take the following precautions:
- Small children should always be accompanied by a parent or responsible child older than 15.
- Trick-or-Treat only along a pre-arranged route in familiar areas. Set a curfew and assure your child it will be enforced. Young children should not trick-or-treat without a parent after dark.
- Visit only houses where the porch lights are on. Avoid unlit streets and houses where pets are not leashed.
- Don’t take short cuts across yards.
- Don’t eat candy or treats until checked by parents. Parents may want to send some candy along with trick-or-treaters in case they get too hungry to wait.
- Make sure children have a loose change in their pockets for emergency phone calls.
While planning your child’s costume, think about how easy it will be for the child to walk and for motorists to see the child. Make sure costumes are not too long and that they have reflective tape so they are easily seen. If masks are worn, they should not interfere with the child’s ability to see traffic or other obstacles.
Neighborhood residents should remove all obstacles from their yards and steps to prevent children from being injured. Residents should also keep their homes well lit, both inside and out, to prevent vandalism and injuries to trick-or-treaters.
Also, residents can help limit the amount of “junk food” given to trick-or-treaters by offering the following alternative treats:
- Coloring books/crayons
- Packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling
- Packaged fruit roll or other packaged fruit treats