You may be surprised to find out that tainted candy is NOT the number one safety concern at Halloween…experts at a children’s hospital say the biggest hazzard is traffic, not tainted candy.
Doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, advise parents to accompany their children while trick-or-treating and remind them to walk carefully, stay on sidewalks and cross streets at crosswalks or well-lighted intersections. Parents should take along a flashlight but try to get home before dark.
Other safety tips include those for costumes, trick or treating and candy. Here are some for your and children to review:
- Hem costumes so you don’t trip and fall
- Use only hypoallergenic or non-toxic make-up
- Try to wear make-up instead of a mask as it allows for greater visibility
- Keep costumes and wigs away from candles
- Swords, knives and other props should be make of flexible plastic so they are not hazardous
- Never eat candy until it has been home to be inspected by a parent
- Only eat homemade treats if you know and trust the person that made them
- Throw out candy or treats that are homemade, unwrapped or if they appear to have been tampered with (pinholes in wrappers, torn wrappers, etc.)
- For small children, remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys
- Children should be well supervised and with an adult while trick or treating
- Add some reflective tape to costumes and/or candy bags for good visibility
- Carry a flashlight
- Only go to well-lit houses
- Follow traffic signals
- Drive extra cautiously
- Avoid short cuts…stick to the sidewalks and stay out of alleys
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods
- Watch for cars backing up out of driveways or turning
Trick or Treating Safety Especially for older kids:
- Never accept rides from strangers
- Be polite: always say ‘thank you’
- Don’t trample flower beds…stay off lawns…stick to sidewalks and walkways
- Don’t approach unfamiliar pets/animals
- Stay out of backyards
- Respect other people and thier property
- Report suspicious activity to the police
- Never go into a stranger’s house
- Make sure your parents always know where you are and who you are with
- If you are driving…make sure you have enough gas…don’t run out on a dark street
- If your parents give you a curfew…follow it…it builds trust
- It is NEVER cool to vandalize
- It is NEVER cool to hurt an animal
- Be sure the dogs are restrained
- Be sure obstacles are removed from walkways
- Be sure your home is well-lit
And for everyone…please do not drink and drive. Here in Colorado the police will be out in force this weekend watching for drunk drivers. I would be it’s a common occurrence nationwide. Get a designated driver or a cab…it is not worth it EVER to drink and drive.
Be safe and have a very Happy Halloween!
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.