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Halloween: Safety tips for trick-or-treaters

Last Updated Oct 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm EDT

For kids, Halloween is the second most exciting day of the year after Christmas.

For parents, there is a lot to do between last-minute costume adjustments and rushing home early for trick-or-treat time.

As adults and children prepare the costumes, best candy route, and evening plans, below are few safety tips to keep in mind.

For trick-or-treaters and parents

  • Before eating the candy, parents should check it for signs of tampering or potential choking hazards
  • Make sure the costume is not longer than ankle length and is a good fit, to avoid slips and trips
  • Avoid dark costumes, but if they are dark, add reflective tape so that motorists can see them at night
  • Opt for face paint instead of masks, which can hinder vision especially when crossing the street
  • Bring flashlights when trick-or-treating to ensure better navigation
  • Children should only trick-or-treat at homes and neighbors they know and only houses with the lights on
  • Tell children not to enter anyone’s homes
  • An adult or responsible older child should accompany younger children
  • Ensure your child dresses in layers for rainy and/or chilly weather, and keep a hat and pair of mitts/gloves in your child’s treat bag
  • Supervise small children when crossing the road, and remind children to always stop and look both ways before crossing
  • Children should wait for cars to come to a complete stop before crossing the street at a crosswalk or a traffic light
  • Stay on the sidewalk when walking from house to house, and if there is no sidewalk, walk beside the road, facing traffic so drivers can see you
  • Children should avoid petting friendly neighborhood dogs who may not recognize them in costumes
  • Plan ahead for a meeting spot in case family and friends get separated when out together
  • If you are taking your pet out, make sure they wear a reflective leash

For homes

  • If you are hosting trick-or-treaters, turn on your porch light and clear walkways of clutter
  • Consider lighting your pumpkin with a flameless candle or glow stick
  • If you want use a candle, keep pumpkins away from drapes, decorations or other flammable objects
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters away from children
  • Put the treat bowl higher up and away from pets
  • Supervise pets around lit jack-o-lanterns, but also unlit pumpkins because swallowing large pieces of it can lead to blockages in their systems
  • Supervise pets when you open the door, as they may get overexcited with trick-or-treaters coming to the door

For drivers

  • Drivers are reminded to pay extra attention on the roads as children may be over-excited and run across
  • Drive slowly in residential areas where children are more likely to be trick-or-treating
  • Watch out for kids, many of whom will be wearing costumes that limit their vision
  • Eliminate distractions, such as cellphones or loud music, and stay alert
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