Today is Halloween! Oooh…..I can smell the excitement and terror in the air. And kids, being kids, would have spent the whole night dreaming about candy and sweets. But before y’all go out for the much-awaited trick-or-treat adventure, here are some handy safety tips to keep in mind. Remember, Halloween is fun, as long as no one gets hurt!
- Dress up safely
The American Red Cross takes safety seriously, and when they say, “use only flame-resistant” costumes, boy, do they mean it! It’s Halloween; danger lurks at every turn. In the case of an exposed flame going awry, an easily flammable costume is a recipe for disaster. So, parents, no matter how awesome and creative a costume is, if it ain’t flame-resistant, it ain’t safe. Please discard it, and seek a better alternative. There is still a little bit of time before trick-or-treating begins in earnest.
Dresses should neither be too long or too short. Shoes should fit the child just right. This helps to prevent tripping and bruises.
- No masks!
Uh-huh! I said it: no masks. Especially for the little ones. Masks and other face coverings would most likely impair the child’s vision in all the whole hubbub and frenzy. And that is so not safe. Preferable alternatives include face paints and masks. They offer more creativity and simplicity and would in no way affect your child’s ability to see throughout the whole celebration.
- In the darkness of Halloween, lighting is very important!
When it comes to costumes (dresses and candy bags), try as much as possible to ensure that the materials used are light-colored. This makes it easy for kids to be identified during the night. On the other hand, a dark-colored costume would make them blend with the backgroud and environment. If the costume is already ready, no problem. Last-minute alterations using reflective tapes and stickers can be done.
If possible, make sure each child has a flashlight (or even a glow stick). This way, they can see and also be seen by others, especially drivers.
- Don’t visit random houses
By random, I mean houses occupied by people you don’t know. Kids shouldn’t wander off asking candy from any house they come across. If by chance, they do visit the house of a stranger, treats should be accepted at the door. Invitations to come in should be strongly refused.
Oh, lest I forget, no begging of candy from random strangers. That is a serious no-no in the safety book. And this brings me to my next point….
- Adult supervision is absolutely necessary
No matter how many times you emphasize the dos and don’ts to children, they end up disobeying, especially if there is no one to supervise them. So, ensure an adult (a responsible one, please) accompanies them on their trick-or-treat jaunt through town.
If your kids are well into their teen years and don’t require adult supervision per se, then take the time to remind them of the necessary safety tips. Appoint a leader from the group if possible, and yes, adopt the buddy system by pairing them into pairs of twos or threes.
- Walk safely
It’s Halloween, so expect the roads and streets to be filled with people and drivers. Infact, a report from AAA (American Autoomobile Association) says that childlren are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween. It is therefore very important that while out and about, kids walk on the sidewalks and not on the street itself. If there is no sidewalk, then ensure they walk on the left hand side of the road and always face traffic.
They should not cross the street willy-nilly. Direct routes are more preferable. If they do have to cross the street, then they should cross only at corners and pay attention to traffic signals. Teach kids not to cross betwen parked cars or dart in front of a car turning or backing out of the driveway. Routes through alleys should be avoided.
- Drive safely
Kids are not the only ones that have to abide by these safety tips today. Adults should exercise an extra dose of caution when driving. Drive slowly and carefully in residential areas. Be alert and avoid any distractions. Also put on your headlights to warn pedestrians that a moving car is nearby.
With these safety tips in mind, feel free to go ahead and enjoy your Halloween. Eat candy, scare people, have fun with your loved ones and friends, and trick-or-treat safely! But never forget that too much of everything is bad, especially candy!
From the cast and crew of DIY Home & Garden, we wish you a Happy Halloween!