Keep Your Little Ghouls & Goblins Safe
They’re tricking, they’re treating, and they’re dressed as anything from Nemo to a good old-fashioned witch. This is a child’s night to play pretend and be rewarded for it – with candy, no less!
yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">But even scarier than your tiny ghosts and ghoulies is the fact that kids are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night than on any other night of the year. The National SAFE KIDS Campaign offers these tips to help keep your spooks safe this Halloween:

Increase Visibility

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Decorate costumes, bags and sacks with reflective tape and stickers.

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Think about bright costumes: It’s easier to see a ghost’s bright white sheet than a witch’s black cape.

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Give your hobgoblins flashlights – not only will it help motorists see them, it’ll help your demons-in-training see where they’re going and prevent falls.

Safe Sweets

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Instruct all your pirates not to eat loot before it’s been screened for booby traps! When inspecting candy, make sure wrappers haven’t been tampered with. Discard fruit, cookies or other unwrapped items unless you know and trust who they came from.

General Safety

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Kids should not enter homes or apartment buildings unless they’re accompanied by an adult. Try keeping in the spirit of the holiday by telling your tiny terrors that on Halloween night every house is haunted and the only place they’re really safe is in the great outdoors and at home.

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Don’t let kids ages 12 and under trick-or-treat without an adult present, and set a curfew for older kids who are still trick-or-treating.

yle="FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Verdana">• Trick-or-treat only in familiar areas.

• Establish a route before leaving home.

• Remind your costumed spooks that they should only cross the street at intersections and crosswalks, and that they should never try to cross between two parked cars.

Safer Costumes

• Use face paint instead of loose-fitting masks to improve vision. If you have to use a mask, cut the eyeholes so that they’re large enough that the child has full vision.

• Keep costumes short so kids don’t trip.

• Adult shoes may look right for the costume, but they’re easy to trip on – make a rule that kids only go out in shoes that fit.

• A pirate might need a sword, and a devil a pitchfork, but make sure that the props your trick-or-treaters carry are flexible, otherwise they could cause injury if the child falls.

• Use flame-resistant costumes, and avoid costumes with billowy material that would be more likely to come in contact with jack-o’-lantern flames.

– Cathy Elcik