Candy, costumes, tricks, and treats…Halloween is fun for kids, teenagers, and adults alike! The festivities also leave a lot more ways to get hurt, though, so read on for common sense tips to keep everyone in the community safe while they celebrate.
• Mind all pedestrian traffic laws. Look both ways for oncoming traffic, cross only at crosswalks and traffic signals and stay on the sidewalk. Don’t walk and look at your phone at the same time; you may miss a car turning or backing out.
• Masks can obstruct your vision, so make sure they fit well and offer plenty of visibility – or opt for face paint or makeup instead (but test in a small area first to check for an allergic reaction).
• Ensure costumes, shoes, wigs, and hats fit well to reduce the risk of tripping and falling and are made of flame resistant material.
• Walk, don’t run, and never cut through alleys or yards.
• Make yourself visible! Carry a flashlight or glow stick, put reflective tape on your costume, or make the costume itself light in color.
• Accessories like swords or canes should be made of a soft material so it won’t hurt anyone.
• Decorative contact lenses that claim to not require a prescription are both illegal and dangerous; an injury or eye infection from a poorly made lens isn’t worth it! Only purchase these from an FDA approved vendor that requires and verifies a valid prescription.
• If you’re trick-or-treating in a warm climate like Florida, the temperature and humidity can still be a factor even at the end of October. Carry water and be mindful of overheating in heavy costumes.
• Wait to eat treats until you get home so your parents can check them over for damage or potential allergy issues. If you’re offered a homemade treat, nicely tell them “No, thank you.”
• Pumpkin carving is fun, but stick with drawing the design on the pumpkin and let your parents do the knife work. That way you can get right to the best part: scooping out the guts!
• Never ever play with an open flame – in fact, suggest using a flashlight or battery-powered candle instead!
• Only visit well-lit houses, and never enter without a trusted adult. Never accept car rides from strangers.
• If you are old enough to trick or treat without an adult (over 12 years old), make sure you review the route with your parents, agree on a time to be back home and know how to dial 911 if it’s needed.
• Keep jack o’ lanterns or any open flame on a sturdy table, away from flammable material and out of the reach of small children and pets. A votive candle is the safest size for a jack o’lantern – or consider skipping using a flashlight or battery-powered candle instead!
• During daylight, go over the yard and porch to remove any trip or slip hazards to visitors.
• Restrain pets that might try to run out the door or jump on people.
• When driving, use extra caution (especially during peak trick-or-treating hours, 5:30 to 9:30); keep the car distraction-free, and anticipate lots of walkers and dark costumes. (If you are a new or inexperienced driver, avoid driving on Halloween.)
• Call the police if you see any suspicious or unlawful activity.
In closing: be safe, be smart, and we hope that you and yours enjoy these fun fall celebrations!