MIAMI (CBS4) ― Halloween night is a magical one for kids – after all what’s more fun than dressing up in a costume and going door to door to get free candy. But in all the excitement in getting ready to go ‘trick or treating’ there are a few important safety tips you should remember.
*First of all, consider your child’s mask and costume. The mask should have large eye openings so their field of vision is not impaired. When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” “Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application. Costumes should be flame proof and not drag on the ground to prevent them from tripping.
*Bags carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark. If they are going to be carrying a prop – like a sword, a pitchfork, or knife – make sure the tips are dull and it’s flexible so if they hit somebody with it, or fall on it, they won’t get hurt. Do not allow them to carry sharp objects.
*Before the kids leave the house, make sure they have dinner. This will make it less likely they’ll eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it out – and steal all the good pieces for yourself. Let them know firmly that they are NOT allowed to eat any of the candy until they get home.
*During dinner it is a good time to remind the kids about the safety basics including not talking to strangers, not getting into cars with anyone they don’t know and looking both ways before crossing streets. Stress that they should walk, not run, from house to house. They are to stick to the sidewalks and walks, and not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
*Sit down with your child and plan a safe route so you’ll know where they will be at all times. The kids should also stick to familiar houses in your own neighborhood. If they are going to friend’s neighbor hood, remind them to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well lit and never enter any stranger’s home.
*Remind the older kids that if they are going out alone, they have to stick together as a group at all times. Also, set a time when they should be home.
*You may want to pin a slip of paper inside a younger child’s costume that has their name, address, and phone number on it in case they get separated from the group.
*If you plan to take the little ones out after dark, make sure they carry a flashlight, some sort of glow stick or have reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars. Small children should never be allowed to go out alone on Halloween. Make sure an older sibling or adult is with them.
*If you plan to stay home and greet the neighborhood ‘spooks and ghouls’ at the door with a bowl of candy, make sure any jack-o-lanterns on your porch or front yard with candles in them are far enough away from where the kids will walk so they won’t get burned, or worse – accidentally set part of their costume on fire. You may want to consider using a touch-lite inside the pumpkin instead of a candle.
*If you find yourself behind the wheel on Halloween night, remember to watch for children darting out from between parked cars and kids walking on the roadways or medians. If you’re driving around after dark, watch for children in dark colored clothing who may not be carrying a flash light or glow stick.