Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Safety

Tomorrow is Halloween. If you are sending your kids out so they can make a candy haul on this festive evening, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Each person should carry their own flashlight. Never carry a lit candle or anything else that's on fire.
  • Costumes should not limit the wearer's motion or visibility in any way.
  • Kids (even the big ones) should always travel in groups instead of going door to door individually.
  • The age-old warning of collecting the candy and bringing it all home to be examined before eating it should still be adhered to.
  • Costumes should be bright--walking around in the dark in a dark costume can be dangerous as drivers can not see you.
  • Go trick or treating in the safest areas possible. A dark street in the worst part of town is a bad idea. Better, a very active neighborhood where houses are close together and well lit. Best, the mall, downtown, or other area which are set up just for Trick or Treating.
  • Kids should always have an adult or older (we're talking 17 or 18 years old, not 12) person walk with them when Trick or Treating. This person should also carry a cell phone with them for emergencies.
  • Before your kids leave, lay down the law: no getting rides with anyone, no going into anyone's home, you need to know what routes they are taking, no vandalism/stealing candy/other bad behavior.
  • Be extra careful about dangerous looking props such as guns, knives, etc. Mistakes happen and the person carrying the real looking fake gun is usually the one mistakes happen to.
  • Ditto if you are walking with your kids and carrying a weapon. This is not the night to be overly defensive.
  • Set a curfew for your kids to return home by.
  • Light up your home, stairs, driveway, and walkway to prevent falls.
  • If you live in a marginal or down right dangerous place, consider throwing a Halloween party for your kids and their friends in your home.
  • Tell your kids to not cut through cemeteries, dark alleys, busy roads, hop residential fences, or go to other locations that may not be safe.
  • If you are driving, drive really, really carefully.
  • Consider that 99.9% of the people who are out on this evening are only interested in candy. There is, however, a slight .1% of people who may have other things in mind including everything from vandalism to home invasion and murder. Beware.
Halloween is usually a fun, exciting time for kids of all sizes. With a few extra precautions, this can be a safe event as well.

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