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Halloween is a fun time of the year when young and old celebrate by dressing up in costumes, going to parties and eating sweets. To ensure that children & parents not only have an enjoyable Halloween but a safe holiday here are Halloween Safety Tips adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Safety Council.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that the number of deaths among young pedestrians was four times higher on Halloween evening when compared with all other evenings of the year.  Halloween poses special risks to young pedestrians.  For example, most of the time children spend outdoors is typically during daylight hours.  However, Halloween activities often occur after dark.  Also, children engaged in trick or treat activities frequently cross streets at mid-block rather than at corners or crosswalks, putting them at risk for pedestrian injury. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Before heading out for trick or treating, discuss with children proper street crossing skills and traffic safety.  Also, review the tips below about other ways to stay safe on Halloween.

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern

Children should...

  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
  • Travel in small groups and be accompanied by and adult.
  • Know their phone number and carry coins for emergency telephone calls.
  • Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.
  • Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
  • Use costume knives and swords that are flexible not rigid or sharp.
When walking in neighborhoods, they should...
  • Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing that is bright, reflective, and flame retardant.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks.  Masks can obstruct a young child's vision.
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
  • Be reminded to look left, right, and left again before crossing the street.

Parents & adults should...

  • Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
  • Establish a curfew  (a return time) for older children.
  • Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it.

Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters...

  • Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.

And a few tips about pumpkins:

  • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
  • Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin, then parents (adults) should do the cutting.
  • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lighted pumpkins unattended.
Safe HalloweenHave A Safe and Happy Halloween!

Related Theme:   Halloween  Activities
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