Halloween is a unique and exciting holiday for everyone, but safety has increasingly become a concern over the years, which is not unwarranted. Children and often even teenagers or young adults dress up and take to the streets to knock on people’s doors and ask for candy — not exactly safety at its finest. Adults can kidnap children, people can force their way into candy-givers’ homes, candy distributors can poison the sweets they are handing out, etc. Statistically, children are also twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween night. So how do we stay safe on a holiday that normalizes strangers approaching your home and asking for you to open your door? How do we ensure our children are safe on the streets of your neighborhoods?
Children First: How Can You, As A Parent, Protect Your Children
- The best way to keep your children safe is to accompany them while they are trick-or-treating. If this is not possible, try to send a responsible adult to accompany children.
- Use all crosswalks and follow traffic signals to lower the risk of an accident involving a vehicle.
- Make sure you to look left, right and left again before you begin to cross any street.
- While crossing the street, put your electronics away and focus on the road ahead. Aside from there being more than usual number of pedestrians on the street, many children wear dark colors during Halloween making them more invisible to a distracted driver.
- Halloween involves parties in which drivers inevitably and irresponsibly operate their vehicles under the influence. 44% of vehicle fatalities on Halloween night involve a legally drunk driver behind the wheel.
- Teach your children to make eye contact with a driver before crossing in front of them.
- Teach your children to walk and never run across the street, especially at night.
- If your children insist on trick-or-treating alone or you cannot join them, make sure they go in groups.
- Add reflective tape to your children’s costumes. Give your kids flashlights or glow sticks to carry as well.
- Consider painting your child’s face instead of putting a mask on their head, which could impair their peripheral vision.
- Make sure your children’s costume is a proper length so they do not fall.
- You can take your children’s collected candy to your local police station to have it tested if you are concerned that candy may have been tampered with. If a candy is open or seems suspicious, it is better to toss it.
- Another method of keeping your children safe is to buy your own candy and swap out your children’s candy after they have finished trick-or-treating.