Frights and scares are the keys to a successful Halloween, but so is staying safe. Halloween may bring out the goblins and ghouls – and this year perhaps more than a few scary clowns from the movie ‘It’ – and it also carries with it dangers of its own.
According to Safe Kids USA, on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
So having a few Halloween safety tips at your disposal is necessary if you’re out on the streets with children. Lompoc Valley Medical Center will treat you if you’re ill or injured, but we’d rather you stay safe and healthy.
Various child safety organizations offer tips and ideas on how to keep safe on Halloween. While some may seem routine, trick or treat night is a good time to review some of these suggestions:
- Avoid allowing children to walk alone. Stay in groups for safety and make sure an adult is along.
- Do not allow children to cross in the middle of a street. Use corners, traffic signals, and crosswalks.
- Do not assume drivers see you. Make sure you have eye contact with a driver before you cross in front of them.
- Do not use electronic devices while crossing streets.
- Use a flashlight and stay in well-lit areas.
- Do not allow children to enter a stranger’s home or have direct physical contact with a stranger.
- Remove any tripping hazards near your front door, such as hoses or potted plants. Keep animals away from trick-or-treaters.
- Make sure your child knows their phone number, in case they get separated from the group.
- Slow down and be extra alert in neighborhoods. Use no distractive devices while driving, especially on Halloween.
- Watch out when entering and exiting a driveway or alley. Children are typically smaller than the profile of most vehicles and can scurry into a blind spot.
- Anticipate that there will be more children and cars out on the roads this night.
- If possible, use reflective tape or flashing reflectors on costumes.
- Reduce use of masks that obstruct a child’s view.
- Ensure costumes fit correctly, to prevent trip hazards.
- If the costume comes with fake weapons, ensure they do not have sharp edges and are not used aggressively against others. If costume includes plastic guns, decorate weapon with stickers or bright paint to avoid confusion or mistaken identity.
- Wear flame-retardant costumes and avoid walking near candles.
- Feed children a healthy, filling meal before going out to trick-or-treat.
- Have an adult examine all treats and candy for any signs of tampering or choking hazards.
- Limit the number of treats children consume, especially late at night.
- Take no chances with food allergies – if you’re not sure the item contains an allergen to your child, be safe, and throw it out.
- Hand out low-calorie treats and drinks, or non-candy items if possible such as pencils, stickers, raisins, erasers or fruit snacks.
If you suspect candy tampering, call the Police Department or Sheriff’s Department. Keep the California Poison Control System free emergency number (800-222-1222) available in case your child swallows something suspicious.