I remember every year when Halloween rolled around my mom would send me off with a hug and a multitude of Halloween safety tips before I was allowed to leave the house. Every year it was the same, watch where I was walking, be on the lookout for cars, always stick with my group, don’t enter anyone’s home, and report home right after I successfully filled my bag with candy.
She was right to be cautious, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (https://www.nhtsa.gov/) reports that Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for kids walking the roadways.
Fortunately, you can lower the risks of something bad happening with a few precautions. Here’s a checklist of things you’ll want your little ghouls and goblins to have.
- A nonrestrictive mask. Make sure your trick-or-treater has a full line of vision outside of their mask or helmet. The last thing any parent wants is their kid walking the streets blind to any cars that may be coming.
- Make sure that it is trip proof. Have the kids take a test run in their costumes, around the block or around the house and then make any necessary adjustments. Make sure the costume is not too tight either.
- Comfortable shoes. No one wants to get a call that their child has refused to leave a neighbor’s porch because their feet hurt so much.
- Flexible props are a must. Make sure any swords or other props are made of soft plastic or rubber that bends, I think this rule speaks for itself.
- Flame-resistant costumes, wigs, and accessories. Check the labels to find out for sure.
- Use reflective tape. Stick a couple pieces on your kid’s costume or shoes so cars will have an easy time spotting them. If you can find a bag or bucket that is reflective as well.
- Toss a flashlight into their trick or treating bag so they will have light when they need it. You never know when a street light might go out.
- Secure your child’s name along with your phone number and address on a bracelet or in the costume. Also, have them memorize your phone number and know to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
Everything checked off? Then let the candy collecting commence!