ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The major dangers while out trick-or-treating are not from ghosts and goblins but from falls and pedestrian accidents.
Make sure to set trick or treating rules and boundaries for kids. They should only visit homes that have porch lights on. Tell them to accept treats at the door and never go into a stranger’s house. And always make sure to say, “thank you.”
Parents need to ensure kids use driveways and sidewalks to get to the goodies. Don’t cut across lawns where hidden dangers may lurk. Don’t just assume someone has planned ahead and cleared obstacles from paths where your children may walk. Remind your kids to watch where they are walking. Do not permit children to bicycle, roller-blade or skateboard.
Don’t let children think with their stomachs. Inspect all candy before your kids indulge.
Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.
For older children who can venture out on their own, plan the route they will take and agree on a specific time when revelers must return home. They should wear a wristwatch and carry cell phones for emergency calls. Here’s a fund idea – a walkie-talkie with code names for everyone.
Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts. Use only battery powered lanterns or chemical light-sticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility. Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative. When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant. Secure emergency identification, such as name, address and phone number, discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
Don’t enter a stranger’s home or car!
Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking, such as hard candies, are given only to those of an appropriate age.
For your home:
Consider purchasing individually packaged candy, or safe non-food treats, for those who visit your home. Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for flower-pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house. Remember, inspect all candy before your kids indulge.
Children are thinking “TREATS,” so remember: Adults will have to remind kids constantly of the rules they are to follow.
Some safe alternative activities to trick-or-treating:
- School events.
- Church events.
- Community events.
- Candy Hunts.
- Games and prizes.