Halloween is supposed to be the scariest holiday of the year. But what you may not realize is that for many people, the scares are all too real and they don’t involve haunted houses and horror movies. According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were twice as many pedestrian fatalities on Halloween of 2013 than on any other single day of that year. As a parent, you want to keep your child safe while also walking the balancing beam of letting them be a little independent and have some fun. That is why it is so important to follow these rules for a safe and not-so-scary Halloween experience.
Visibility—The first priority for Halloween safety is to be seen. Yes, black is the normal color for many of the creepy ghouls and goblins. But it also makes it very difficult for drivers to see your little trick-or-treaters and that can lead to serious accidents. The old standards, flashlights, can be hard to carry when you are weighted down with lots of candy. So your better bet is to pick up lots of glow sticks that can be fashioned into necklaces and bracelets. Besides drivers being able to see you, your child should also be able to see them. Make sure that their costumes and masks do not obscure their vision. If they do in any way, then make sure that they take off the masks as they cross the streets or just consider picking a different costume.
Apps—It’s time to move into the high-tech world with some apps like Mama Bear. This app lets your child check in to inform you where they are at. It also allows them to let you know when they are ready to come home from hanging out with their friends. This is great for a Halloween night party amongst teenage friends or really for any weekend when you need to keep tabs on your child.
Adult Responsibility—Even if you don’t have a child trick or treating, it is important for you to be extra careful when you are out driving on Halloween. The last thing you want is to harm a child with reckless driving. The best thing to do is to go home on Halloween after work and then call it a night. Stay home and pass out candy. But keep off of the roads if you can so that you don’t have to navigate through kids in costumes on the road. If you do go out and drive through a residential neighborhood with lots of kids in costumes, make sure you keep your headlights on and drive even slower than usual. If you back out of your driveway, be sure to be extra careful of children who may be walking in your blind spot. Finally, turn your radio off and put the cellphone away so that you don’t get distracted.
Candy Safety—Finally, once you get your kids home with their stash of candy, you should be sure to inspect the candy closely. If the wrapper looks tampered with, throw it away. It is better to be safe than sorry. If you are giving out candy, make sure to not give away homemade treats. This will be just a waste because parents should throw out any handmade candy or treats from strangers. These are the easiest to tamper with and slip in something that can harm your child. Finally, if your child has any types of food allergies, such as peanuts, be sure to get rid of anything that could harm them.
Halloween doesn’t have to be a scary holiday. If you follow these safety tips, you can provide your children with the type of fond holiday memories that you have from your childhood.