Halloween Safety Tips
By Chris J. Doyle, Personal Safety Instructor
For 364 days of the year most people tell their kids, “Don’t talk to or ever take candy from strangers!” And then on Halloween we send them out to take candy from every stranger they can find. Halloween can be fun, exciting and a whole lot safer if you review some Halloween safety tips and prepare a bit before they go out:
For our little Trick-or-Treaters:
Go out with mom and dad.
When you are old enough (mom and dad will let you know when) go out with a group of friends.
Carry a flashlight.
Walk, don't run.
Stay on Sidewalks, cross the road at corners.
Obey traffic signals.
Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
Don't cut across yards or driveways.
Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.
Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume).
Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
(If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
Approach only houses that are lit.
Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.
A few tips for Parents:
- Review safety tips with the kids in a light and fun way (even role playing)
- Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult.
- Make your child eats dinner before setting out.
- Children should carry have a family cell phone so they can call home.
- If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark.
- If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-tardant material.
- Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home.
- You should know where they're going.
- Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything.
- Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect.
Some Ideas for Homeowners:
- Make sure your front porch is well lit, so the trick-or-treaters feel comfortable coming up to your house.
- Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
- Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them somewhere safe to protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
- Battery powered jack O'lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
- If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
- Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.
- Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later.
- Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.
I have found a great site www.trickortreats.com that has games, clip art, and many other Halloween themed things plus a safety tip challenge.
As a martial arts teacher and a personal safety expert, I teach “stranger danger” in a very different way. The first thing we teach the kids is never go anywhere (or take anything) with anyone without their parents permission. Then we teach the kids to recognize not what the person looks like, but what they say that makes them an “Unsafe Person” to be near. We then go over auditory recognition drills and skills, and finish off with fun and gentle “hand on-hands off” techniques so the kids are safe. If you are interested in any of our programs give me a call or email us.