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Trick-or-Treating Safety

Kids love Halloween.  I just like the candy part; last year, to get out of the whole thing, I came up with an excuse why we couldn’t trick-or-treat and then put together a fun bag of treats for Gray.  I would have liked that, but he was disappointed.  While it is a hassle to take him, given that we have no neighbors or neighborhood, I worry more about safety.  Here’s why:

  • Twice as many child pedestrians are killed on Halloween as compared to other days of the year.
  • Only 18% of parents put reflective tape on their kid’s costumes.
  • 70% of parents don’t accompany their children.
  • 63% of kids don’t carry a flashlight.
  • 12% of children 5 years and younger are allowed to trick-or-treat on their own.
  • $13 million worth of property damage caused by fire occur each year.
  • 86% of adults bring alcohol to a Halloween party.

Here are my Top 5 Most Important Trick-or-Treat Do’s

  1. Take your kids trick-or-treating no matter what their age is.  If they are older and with a group of friends, volunteer to be the parent that keeps an eye on them by parking down the street, keeping watch, and letting them know you are going to be there.  They will be more mindful of properly following pedestrian traffic rules and while they might not say it, feel a sense of security.
  2. Make certain your child’s costume is both easily seen by drivers and fits properly.  If it is completely black, add a few strips of reflective tape on both the front and the back.  I don’t have a problem with masks if they can clearly see out of eye holes.  Finally, be sure there are no tripping hazards associated with anything they are wearing or carrying.
  3. Have each kid carry a flashlight.
  4. Instruct your kids to only trick-or-treat at houses that are well lit outside and to stay outside; never go inside.  If lights are on inside but not outside, that is an indication that those folks aren’t prepared for Halloween guests.
  5. Have a ball eating candy and treats but only after you examine it first.  Dispose of any homemade treats, those that aren’t wrapped, and anything that looks like it could have been tampered with.

I guess number 6 should be let them have fun, and when the party is over and the sugar buzz has worn off, click here to find out how to properly care for their costume so that it can be either worn again or passed along to a sibling.  



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