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Posted in Family and Friends | October 2013

Streetproof your ghouls and goblins

Halloween is an exciting night for kids who are eager to put on fantastical costumes and head out into the night in search of candy, treats and sweets—and maybe even a ghost sighting or two! But it’s precisely because of that enthusiasm that it’s important to review some basic safety rules before leaving your haunt.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to be involved in a car accident on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Luckily there are some simple and very effective ways to help reduce the risk of injury on this sweet and exciting night.

  • Consider using make-up or non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Masks can obscure vision, making it difficult for children to see tripping hazards, cars and other obstacles. If your children are going to wear masks, encourage them to take them off when crossing the street, and cut the eye and mouth holes a little larger to make seeing and breathing easier.
  • If possible, choose light colored costumes and decorate them with reflective tape or stickers. Slap a few on the trick-or-treat bags too.
  • Give your children flashlights. Not only will they help them see better in the dark, it will make it easier for cars to see them too.
  • Make sure costumes are the right size. If they are too long they can be a tripping hazard.
  • Remind your children that it’s important to obey road signals, only cross at street corners and always look both ways before crossing the road. Tell them to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of a car.
  • As tempting as it may be for them to dig right in, tell children that all candy must be inspected by you before they can eat any of it. Unwrapped candy should be thrown out, as well as anything with a wrapper that has been torn or is faded. Children should only eat candy that is in its original, unopened wrapping.
  • Children under 12 should always be supervised by an adult when trick-or-treating. If your children are old enough and mature enough to be out with a group of friends instead of with an adult, make sure they know what time they are expected home, and remind them to stay in familiar neighborhoods on well-lit streets.
  • If your child is going out without you, make sure he has a cell phone so he can contact you if need be, and include his emergency contact information (name, number, and address) somewhere on his clothes or on a bracelet.

Don’t forget about keeping an eye on the neighborhood kids too! If you’re out and about on Halloween, be extra vigilant when driving, especially between 5:30pm and 9:30pm, which are the hours when you can expect hoards of witches and monsters to be roaming the streets. If you’re at home giving out candy, make sure your house is well lit and your walk is clear of anything a child might trip or slip on. Keep your pets inside and away from the front door. Even well-behaved dogs and cats can get spooked on Halloween.

For more valuable tips on keeping your princesses and superheroes safe this Halloween, visit Scholastic and Kids Safe Worldwide.

410218 CAN/US (04/15)

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