15 Halloween Safety Tips
The days are growing colder and shorter as brightly colored leaves decorate lawns far and wide. The excitement of children everywhere permeates the air as Halloween grows close. Between the costumes, Halloween events, and candy, make sure these 15 Halloween safety tips are also part of your holiday!
- Look left, right, left again and cross streets safely! Remind children to use traffic signals and crosswalks whenever crossing streets. Be alert and aware, watching for cars turning or backing up in driveways, and encouraging kids to keep all electronics/distractions in their pockets.
- Accompany children under age 12 for trick-or-treating. Review safety rules for kids mature enough to trick-or-treat without adult supervision and encourage them to stay with groups in well-lit areas. Agree on a specific time when they should return home and provide flashlights with batteries. If possible, children old enough should carry a cell phone and all children should be taught the basics for contacting 911.
- Remind children only to go to homes with a porch light on and never to enter a home or vehicle for a treat.
- When welcoming trick-or-treaters, keep your home and yard safe for visitors by removing any tripping hazards and lighting the pathway. Check for and replace any burned-out light bulbs to keep a well-lit exterior.
- Talk with children about pets and animals, reminding them that while most are friendly, some can be potentially dangerous. They should not attempt to touch anyone’s animals without permission either while on the sidewalk or visiting someone’s home. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, animals should be restrained both to protect visitors as well as to protect the animal.
- Add bright or reflective elements to costumes and/or trick-or-treat buckets. Ensure costumes fit well enough to allow children to walk safely. Hats, wigs, and other headwear should not obstruct the child’s vision. All elements of the costume should be flame-resistant.
- Makeup should be non-toxic and tested ahead of Halloween in small patches on the skin to ensure no allergic reactions or surprises will occur on trick-or-treat nights. Decorative contact lenses should be used with caution and generally avoided for small children due to potential risks.
- Do not allow children to carve pumpkins or handle sharp objects. Encourage children to draw the jack-o-lantern face and then an adult should do the cutting.
- Use a candle alternative for lighting a finished carved pumpkin such as a flashlight, glow stick, or electronic candle. If candles are used, keep pumpkins out of the path of visitors to avoid potential fire hazards, and never leave the lit pumpkin unattended.
- Small children may enjoy non-toxic paints or a pumpkin face kit as a safe alternative to carving.
Halloween Safe Driving Reminders
- Drive extra slowly and with extra caution, especially in residential neighborhoods. Children are often excited and may move in random and surprising ways which can include running into the street or out from between parked cars.
- Take extra time to look for pedestrians at intersections, especially when turning and when navigating driveways and alleyways.
- Put away the distractions. Cell phones and driving are never a good combination, but focusing on the road and surroundings is especially important at a time when it’s both dark and children are out in the masses.
- Speaking of dark…consider turning your headlights on earlier in the day to improve visibility.
- In Des Moines and the local area for 2022, most trick-or-treating is planned for Sunday, October 30 from 6-8 pm. Check your local area for specific trick-or-treating hours and be on high alert before, during, and after these hours.