Halloween is tomorrow and families across the country are picking out costumes, setting up decorations and stocking up on candy before the big night. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 157 million people will celebrate Halloween in some way this year.
While Halloween is a popular holiday, especially among children, it is always important to stay safe. Here are three tips on having a happy and safe Halloween.
Be Seen (And Not Just For Your Great Costume)
Trick or treating is fun for many kids, but for motorists on the road, it can be stressful. Excited kids are running around and their actions can be spontaneous and fast. It is important that drivers are able to see the people around them to avoid injury. Costumes should be adorned with reflective tape or stickers to create better visibility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Get creative and include glow sticks or other lights into a costume.”
Many costumes use dark colors, but these are difficult to see at night. Whenever possible, incorporate lighter colors that are easier to see. Parents can get creative and include glow sticks or other lights into a costume.
Children and parents should carry flashlights while trick or treating to light the way as well as let others know where they are, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Use The Buddy System
Children should always trick or treat in groups for safety. Parents should explain that their children are expected to stay in their group the entire time before their children leave to go trick or treating. For children under the age of 12, one or more adults should accompany a group of children, advised Safe Kids Worldwide.
When approaching an unfamiliar house, children should stay together and never enter a stranger’s house, especially if the home is dark, according to the CDC. Also, children should never accept a ride from an unknown adult.
If a child does get separated from the group, children should know how to contact help. Before Halloween night, make sure they know their home phone number and the local emergency phone number, suggested the AAP.
Look And See
Young children don’t always remember to look both ways before crossing the road. In the excitement of Halloween night, it is likely that they will forget the rules of sidewalks and streets. Make sure to review with children the importance of watching out for cars. Parents should also teach children about crosswalks and how to use them, said the CDC.
When walking from house to house, everyone should use the sidewalk whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk, Safe Kids Worldwide advised children to walk as far to the left side of the road as possible, in the direction of traffic. Parents should also teach kids to make eye contact with drivers whenever crossing the road.
To make sure children can see where they are going and watch out for cars while walking, parents should help pick out a costume that doesn’t include a mask. According to the AAP, masks can reduce children’s ability to see their surroundings. This can be dangerous on Halloween night. A safe alternative is to use face paint and hats to convey the character the child wishes to portray. Hats should fit properly to avoid covering the child’s eyes while walking. Test the hat out to see if it fits properly before Halloween to make sure there is time to find an alternative if need be.
Follow these tips this year to ensure a fun and safe time for the entire family!