Halloween Safety Tips

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Halloween 2012 might be your very first time celebrating this spooky holiday with your kiddos. On the other hand, some of you might have stopped counting a long time ago how many times you've trick or treated with your youngsters. Either way, one thing is for certain for all of you, safety cannot be forgotten. It is crucial for all parents to not only explain the safety rules to their children, but to also ensure both themselves and their children apply them. As a matter of fact, Halloween can be an extremely exciting time for children and with the distraction of candy and costumes, safety rules aren't always on their mind. Research shows that distractions can increase a child's chances of being struck by a car. So let's make sure we all have a fun, and safe Halloween by following these simple safety tips for everyone!

Tips for Drivers
  • Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick-or-treating. Did you know that drivers cannot accurately judge their own speed when driving? The higher the speed, the less likely you are to see a child pedestrian, and the harder it is to stop quickly. 
  • Watch out for kids, many of whom may be wearing costumes with masks that make it difficult for them to see. With the excitement of Halloween, children may forget simple pedestrian safety rules. They have a tendency to dart out in the most unexpected places - the most common being between parked cars. Remember also that costumes can limit a child's vision and they may not be able to see your vehicle. 
  • Reduce your distractions and stay alert. All your concentration should be on the road, not diverted by cell phones or loud music. 
  • Remember to enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully. 
  • Excited trick-or-treaters may run on sidewalks, or dart out unexpectedly. Proceed with caution, when entering or exiting the roadway.

Costumes
  • Cold and wet weather can be harmful to children. Choose costumes that can be worn over warm clothing, but are not baggy enough to trip over.
  • Flammable materials, flowing skirts, baggy sleeves and over-sized costumes can all be hazards around candles or flames. Avoid costumes with baggy sleeves or flowing skirts and look for costumes, beards and wigs that are labelled "Flame-Resistant." Nylon or heavyweight polyester costumes are best. Remember, "Flame-Resistant" does not mean fire-proof.
  • Pick brightly coloured costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.
  • Use make-up or face paint instead of masks. Improperly fitted masks can interfere with your child's vision or breathing. If you do choose a mask, make sure it fits properly and allows them to see and breathe properly.
  • Toy weapons such as swords, knives and other accessories can cause injuries so make sure they are always made of flexible material.
  • Coloured contact lenses that change eye colour should be avoided because they can cause injury to a child's eyes.

Decorations

  • To avoid injuries, let children draw a face or design on the pumpkin and then have an adult carve it. 
  • Candles, jack-o-lanterns, lighters and matches are all fire hazards. Instead of candles, consider using a small flashlight or battery candle to light your jack-o-lantern. Always keep candles, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach. 
  • Avoid using Halloween candles with multiple wicks. They can produce a single high flame or several large flames that create intense heat and may ignite nearby materials like curtains and window sills. 
  • Indoor and outdoor decorative lights can be fire hazards. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections. Make sure they are certified by a recognized organization like the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the Underwriters' Laboratory of Canada (ULC). Do not overload extension cords. 
  • Make your home safe for ghouls and goblins by removing objects around the outside of your house that could cause children to trip or fall. Turn on your outside lights so that children know they can visit. 
  • Keep pets inside and away from trick or treaters and lit candles, especially if they are easily frightened or overly excitable.

Trick or Treating

  • Go trick or treating with your children each year until they are old enough to go with a friend. Children who are alone are vulnerable to injury and bullying by older children or may encounter a predator. When they are old enough, make sure they go with a friend or in a group, and know the routes they will be taking. You can also follow along at a distance to keep an eye on them.
  • Tell your children to walk, not run from house to house and to stay on the sidewalk or at the side of the road facing traffic. They should only cross the road at the corner and look both ways before crossing. If you are driving on Halloween, be aware of children, drive slowly and enter and exit driveways and alleyways with caution.
  • Give each child a flashlight to carry, to make them more visible to motorists and others.
  • Tell your children to stay in well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside lights turned on. Make sure they know never to go inside homes or cars.
  • Take a backpack along, to empty goodies into if the loot bag becomes too heavy.
  • Tell your children not to eat any goodies until you have looked them over. Throw out any treats that are not commercially wrapped, have loose or torn wrappers or have holes in the wrappers. If you suspect tampering with any of the treats, notify the police. Serve dinner before your children go out, so that they will be less tempted to eat goodies along the way.
  • Be cautious about giving children any treats that could be potential choking hazards. Some treats such as chewy candies, peanuts and hard candies could be a choking hazard.
  • Check toys or novelty items for small parts. If they do have small parts, do not let children under three years of age play with them.
  • You might want to consider an alternative to sugar-based treats, like sugarless gum. Stickers or multi-coloured pencils can be a nice replacement for traditional treats. Ask your children for suggestions.
  • For diabetic children, monitor the treats so that they fit into their specialized meal plan. Leftover treats can be traded with other children or given away. Treats may also cause severe side effects (adverse reactions) in children who have allergies or sensitivities.

Happy and safe trick or treating everyone!


*Thank you to Health Canada for their information.


16 Fabulous Comments:

Mom vs. the boys said...

that's a great list of tips, we have orange flashing lights the kids wear around their necks

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

These are great tips. Thanks so much for sharing. We have two necklace lights for the kids.

Tonya said...

A lot of great tips! I usually make my kids wear a bright glow stick necklace so I can see them better too.

Mudpiesandtiaras said...

Luckily where we leave they do Trick or Treat on Sunday 2-4! Nice and bright and light!

Ashley S said...

Great tips!! Both drivers and pedestrians need to be extra careful on this night!

Sofia @ From PDX with Love said...

Thanks so much for the tips!! Our boys are still too young to be outside by themselves (they are 4 and 3) but I am sure that when they are old enough they'll go trick-or-treating with their cousins. This will be the first years where I'll give them a flash light just to keep it safe!

Ashley B. said...

Such a great list of tips, very informative! Thank you for sharing :)

Celebrate Woman said...

I always appreciate tips and information that comes with each season. Always learn something new!

Kelly R said...

Thank you so much for the tips, alot of great information.

Pam said...

Fun and safety are the two most important things when it comes to Trick or Treating. These are great tips not just for Halloween but other times of the year. I agree that masks can be one of the biggest hazardous for children and face paint is so much safer.

Thanks for the tips!

A Goddess of Frugality said...

Excellent tips! Safety is key!

An Ordinary Housewife said...

Good tips. :-) it is important to remember to be extra careful on this night!

Debbie McConnell said...

Great list of tips. Thanks for sharing

Nancy said...

These are wonderful tips. I like the part about eating dinner beforehand.

Billie H. said...

GREAT Halloween tips - thanks for sharing.

Airport Transfer London said...

Those tips are pretty helpful. Halloween is also a holiday in which a lot of people are travelling to different places.

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