UPDATE: This is a post I share annually, to make sure kids and adults are safe while out on Halloween night!
Halloween 2014 is tonight! And many kids are just daydreaming in school about the candy they will get when they go trick-or-treating tonight. So before you send your kids out on Halloween night, make sure they are going to be safe! Here are some Halloween safety tips to follow.
1. Bring a flashlight. Kids should have a flashlight on them while trick or treating. It does not have to be one kids hold with their hands. It could be one that is strapped around a child’s head. Before Halloween night, make sure flashlights have fresh batteries and don’t be afraid to tape on some reflective tape on that costume. Glow sticks are also a great way to keep kids safe.
2. Stay on sidewalks. Tell kids to stay on sidewalks at all times. Even while going up to a front door of a house. Some yards can have some hidden hazards that could hurt a kid. Tell kids to never cross a road unless it’s at a marked intersection. Kids should look left, right, and left again before crossing the street. Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. If no sidewalks, stay on the left side and far off of the road as possible. And kids, don’t use cell phones and electronic devices while trick-or-treating.
3. Check the costume. Make sure your child has good movement and they can walk well while in the costume. Make sure the costume has a good scope of vision. And use some reflective tape so kids can be seen while on the streets. If kids are not comfortable in their costumes, it will make for a miserable Halloween night. Yes, costumes should be flame-resistant.
4. Eat before you go out. You do not want your kids eating candy before it’s inspected by a parent. Tell your kids to not eat any candy collected until after they are done trick-or treating and it’s inspected by an adult. Don’t eat homemade treats from any strangers.
5. Say no to other adults. Children should be trained to say no to other adults who are asking for help. If an adult is asking for help, they should get help from other adults, not from kids. Kids should also know to never approach a vehicle, even if it appears unoccupied. Kids always have a great trick-or-treating experience when a trusted adult goes with them!
6. Teach kids about bribes used by adults. Some adults out there will use any means necessary to lure kids to them. That means candy, money, toys, finding a lost pet, or requests for help. Teach kids to not meet other adults unless it’s at a well-lit house where they are handing out candy. Also, teach kids to scream, kick, run away, or grab something large if they are being taken or chased by an adult that they do not know.
7. Plan the route. With smartphones and maps online, it’s very easy to plan a route for your kids from neighborhoods you trust. You can print out the route or upload the route to a smartphone so kids will follow it. Involve your kids in the route making process so they know where they will go. And make sure you learn the route too, just in case something bad happens.
8. SLOW DOWN while driving. Some adults will use cars to make the treat-or-treat process easier. The car drives up to a house, the kids get out and get candy, and the kids get back into the car. But some drivers will not be safe on Halloween night and drive like it’s any other night. If you are in a neighborhood during the evening hours of Halloween, slow down! Drive slower than the speed limit, turn off the radio, put your windows down, and put away all distractions such as cell phones. Do not assume the kids can see you while trying to cross the street. Stay safe while driving, you do not want to hit another kid.
9. Teach kids vital information. Do kids know the parents phone number and address? If not, you need to teach them that important information now! “Mom and Dad on First Street” will not be enough information in case something bad happens. Some parents might upload important information on a child’s cell phone, but that is not enough. What if the kid loses the cell phone? Kids should know important information from memory. Kids should also know how to use the 911 system. Do they know what information to give while dialing 911? And do they know how to ask a police officer for identification?
10. Have fun. Halloween night is a great time for kids and they will have fun. Make sure they stay in groups and they only go to well-lit houses. If kids are going out without an adult, set a time for return. And tell your kids at what time you must be back at the house. Enjoy Halloween night everyone! And for more great tips, watch the video below and go to: http://www.halloween-safety.com/