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Halloween Safety Tips

Don't Let Parental Fear Ruin Halloween

Halloween is a tough holiday. The mantra of most parents used to be "Have fun!" It's been replaced by "Be careful, be safe". Children walk from house to house, knocking on strangers' doors demanding candy, while public service announcements warn about actually entering the house or getting into unknown cars. Our world has changed a child's night of silly fun and sugar fixes into one of parental fear. A balance needs to exist to allow the freedom for kids to grow and for that growth to occur in a safe environment.

Safety Tips for Halloween

Neighborhoods are no longer the safe haven that they once were. The American Academy of Pediatrics makes these common sense recommendations to allow for safe trick or treating:

  • Stay in groups
  • Walk in well lit neighborhoods
  • Stay on the sidewalk
  • Carry a cell phone
  • Only approach houses with porch lights turned on
  • Always have a parent accompany young children

My bias is always sports-related. If there is an opportunity to scout the opposition, one should take it.

  • Drive a neighborhood route beforehand and look for potential hazards like empty lots, broken street lamps or busy street crossings.
  • Plan where your children will walk.
  • When they're young, take them door-to-door and perhaps just go to the homes of people you know.

Athletic uniforms have function, but costumes are a challenge. In warmer climates, fit is easy. Growing up in Canada - the end of October can be cold and windy. Those costumes had to fit over winter coats and boots. The best laid planning occasionally had to give way to the practicality of the weather. Rain, snow, and wind can lay waste to the best plans for the perfect costume. The cool costume needs to be balanced by its need for function and safety. A couple suggestions from the accident prevention experts:

  • Avoid masks since they tend to fit poorly and slide over kids' eyes, making it tough to see oncoming cars. Consider makeup. Even boys don't mind a little grease to look like their favorite superhero.
  • After the costume has been chosen or made, add some reflective tape to make certain your child is visible to drivers.
  • Have a flashlight that actually works, or better yet, have the children walk in well lit neighborhoods.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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