Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween Safety Tips 2017

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Halloween should be a fun night for kids!  Here are some tips to help keep the kids safe and fun times going!

Costume Safety:
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls (cuts from pumpkin carving and tripping over costumes and decorations are the biggest source of Halloween injuries).
Walking Safety:
  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Remind children (especially) teens to put down the phone while crossing the street
  • DUII Drivers are one of the biggest dangers to children while they are out walking on Halloween
Safety Tips for Drivers:
  • Remember that children are unpredictable and easily distracted. 
  • Drive slowly and cautiously in all residential areas
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
Candy Safety:
  • Have the candy inspected by an adult. Sad as it is, years ago, people tainted candy on Halloween. So, look at the candy to be sure the wrapper is completely intact. Some local fire stations do candy inspections for free.
  • Watch out for super sticky candies that can pull out fillings and dental work.  Be sure to have your kids brush well too.
  • Keep all candy, especially chocolate, away from dogs.
Trick or Treating Tips:
  • Search for homes that have their lights on. Usually a dark home signifies that they do not want to participate in trick-or-treating.
  • If your children are older, have them sit down with you to “map out” their treat route and set up specific time/meeting points to make sure everyone is safe.  Invest in a "people tracking" app or device for your child for extra peace of mind.  Examples: Life360.com free app (gps tracking, messaging and boundary limit alerts),  Family Locator(real time gps tracking, also has SOS button),  Red Panic Button (SOS style app that sends text to parents when button pushed) , or  Best Child Locator Watch for Kids (distance sensor alerts if child has wandered away from you).
  • Stick to the appointed trick or treating time. In a lot of townships, fire trucks patrol neighborhoods to ensure safety. Plus, if a family has just gotten their kids to bed and you’re ringing their door at 9:30, you can be a nuisance.
  • Remind your children to NEVER EVER enter someone’s home unless you are there with them and you say it’s ok. It is perfectly polite to say, “We’ll just wait out here for you.”
  • Go with a friend. Stay in pairs. And, this is one time where it is good to follow the crowd. When you are in a large group, you are less likely to have problems.
  • Choose trick or treating alternatives like carnivals, trunk or treats or other family friendly alternatives to door-to-door trick or treating.
Credit:  LifewithKids4Safekids.org and USA Today

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