For young children, Halloween night is one of the best of the year. According to the latest U.S. Census data, there are about 41 million potential trick-or-treaters between the ages of 5 and 14. That's a lot of kids out on the streets partaking in the holiday festivities; and where children go, safety concerns follow. Here are some Halloween safety tips from Brevard C.A.R.E.S. Executive Director Phebe Powell.
Trick-or-treating can be dangerous if kids and parents aren't careful. Many communities have posted times for trick-or-treating. For those that don't, remember that you don't have to wait until it is pitch-black outside to go trick-or-treating. A good trick-or-treat time is right after an early dinner and just before dusk when you can keep better track of your children and are able to see the others that you encounter on the street. Besides, if you are the first person there, you will have the best selection of candy!
Parents should be aware of the potential risks that can affect children. On Halloween, kids are enjoying new sensations and experiences that are fun, but distracting. They're wearing unusual outfits. They may be wearing headgear such as a crown or pirate hat, or wearing face paint. Also, they are suddenly at liberty to venture outdoors in these ensembles, knock on doors, and maybe munch on some candy while they're at it.
Keeping your kids safe starts with some smart choices. Parents can start by making sure trick-or-treaters have adult supervision, even if they are traveling with a group of friends. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends several easy and effective behaviors that can help parents reduce risk of injury.