More Trick or Treat Safety Tips
Halloween is supposed to be a fun event, but there are many dangers associated with the candy grabbing holiday. You may already have your child’s Halloween plans in place for trick or treating, but, how safe are they? Here are a few ideas on how you can make your haunt a little less scary.
What Color is the Costume?
If the costume is made of dark colors, you should add reflective tape to the front and back of the garments and give them glow sticks to carry along with their treat bucket to make sure drivers can see them as they cross the street. According to Safe Kids USA, on average, twice as many kids are hit by cars on Halloween than any other night of the year.
Remember the Rules of the Road
Stress to your children to only walk on the sidewalk and cross the street at a corner or marked crosswalk, not in the middle of the road. Kids don’t always pay attention to what they’re doing and, unfortunately, neither do some adults when they’re behind the wheel. Also, if you’re planning on driving your child to another area to trick or treat, follow the speed limit (and maybe drive a few miles an hour below the speed limit) and be on the lookout for ghosts and goblins out wandering around.
Does the Costume Fit Properly?
Make sure your little goblin tries the costume on first. If it’s too long, have it hemmed, otherwise it could get trapped in a car door, they could trip on it or it could trail too close to an open flame. It's supposed to be chilly tonight, so, make sure the costume is roomy enough to wear warmer clothing underneath. If the costume comes with a mask, make sure the eye holes are big enough to see out of. If you’re not sure, cut bigger eye holes just to be sure. Children should also not be allowed to wear decorative, non-prescription contact lenses.
Don’t Let Children Go Out by Themselves
I was never allowed to trick or treat alone. There is safety in numbers. If your child is planning to go out trick or treating with friends, make sure there is a parent that will accompany them. This will lower the risk of older kids stealing treat bags and lower the risk that the group may try and cause trouble. Also, ask where your kids are planning on going for their tricks and treats. If it’s in an unfamiliar neighborhood, just say no. It’s also a good idea to have at least one person carry a flashlight, set a curfew and I remember my mother pinning my name address and phone number somewhere inside my costume if she wasn't going out with us, just in case we got separated from our group. Also stress that they should only go to clearly lit houses, never ever go inside a strange home and no snacking while they’re trick or treating.
What’s in the Bag?
Examine your child’s treat bag carefully and inspect everything they got. I remember my parents would dump out my bag on the floor and carefully go through it. It made me sad when they threw some of the candy away, but I'd rather have less candy and not get sick. The Centers for Disease Control is urging parents to throw away any candy that has a wrapper that looks like its been tampered with, any candy that looks old or expired, anything that may pose a choking hazard, and never, ever allow your child to eat homemade treats from strangers.
If you don't want your child eating all of that sugar, you can always go to the Second Annual Sweet Candy Buy Back starting Friday at Pediatric Dentistry in Sartell.