Halloween is coming up and it’s an excited and fun time of year. But it is also a dangerous time of year, especially with our little ones walking outside at night to gather their treats. According to graphic to the right from Safe Kids Worldwide only about 18% of parents use reflective tape on their children’s costumes. This is a very simple and effective way to dramatically improve the safety of your children and we urge all of you to use this Halloween. We also want to share some other tips to help make your family even safer this halloween. We will cover costumes, home safety and tips to keep in mind while on the trail to get those sweet treats.
COSTUMES: Be creative, spooky and safe!
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
- When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
- Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
- Review with children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they ever have an emergency or become lost.
HOME SAFETY: Remove hazards on your yard.
- To keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
- Parents should check outdoor lights and replace bulbs that are burned out.
- Although not usual in Arizona, but wet leaves and snow should be swept from sidewalks and steps.
- Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
ON THE TRAIL FOR TREATS: Be seen, be safe!
- Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or-Treaters:
- Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
- Remember reflective tape for costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
- Carry a cellphone for quick communication.
- Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
- If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
- Never cut across yards or use alleys.
- Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
- Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!
- Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.
- A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
- If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
- Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.
This is one of our favorite times of year at the Viper Law Group and following these steps can help to make sure that it stays that way for you and your family. Safe tricks and sweet treats!