Everyone looks forward to Halloween night, but Halloween safety involves planning ahead. There are practices that can be put into place before heading out for an evening of trick-or-treating, as well as do’s and don’ts throughout the actual night of knocking on doors, enjoying lots of treats and showing off those spooky and creative costumes:
- Please slow down in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street;
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians, and curbs. In dark costumes, they’ll be harder to see at night;
- Look for children crossing the street. They may not be paying attention to traffic and cross the street mid-block or between parked cars;
- Carefully enter and exit driveways and alleys;
- Turn on your headlights to make yourself more visible – even in the daylight; and
- Broaden your scanning by looking for children left and right into yards and front porches.
- Ensure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under age 12;
- Plan and discuss the route your trick-or-treaters will follow;
- Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along established routes;
- Teach children to stop only at well-lit houses and never to enter a stranger’s home or garage;
- Establish a time for children to return home;
- Tell children not to eat any treats until they get home;
- Review trick-or-treating safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules; and
- Make sure Halloween costumes are flame-retardant and visible with retro-reflective material.
- Be bright at night – wear retro-reflective tape on costumes and treat buckets to improve visibility to motorists and
- Wear disguises that don’t obstruct vision, and avoid facemasks. Instead, use nontoxic face paint. Also, watch the length of billowy costumes to help avoid
- Ensure any props are flexible and blunt-tipped to avoid injury from tripping or horseplay; and
- Carry a flashlight containing fresh batteries, and place it face down in the treat bucket to free up one hand. Never shine it into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
Say “NO!”: Teach the children the importance of saying “NO!” in a loud voice if anyone tries to lure them away. Educate each child that they are not to accept anything for a treat other than sweet treats or leave the group to go with anyone else. Clearly explain the importance of doing everything they can to attempt to escape should anyone try to force them unwillingly away. Demand the child try everything possible to escape including hitting, kicking or screaming.