Halloween is a favorite holiday for many children, which is why it would be a particularly terrible time for an accident to occur. Unfortunately, it’s also a time when accidents and injuries are more likely to occur than on a regular evening. The combination of overexcited children hyped up on sugar, people who might not have their best interest at heart, and the inherent risk of being out after dark can lead to unfortunate consequences.
Fortunately, the stories of poisoned candy handed out by sinister people on Halloween are, for the most part, the stuff of urban legend. On the other hand, there are some very real dangers of which parents and children should be aware.
- Even if they’re not handing out tainted treats, some people are a threat to kids. Before yours venture out on Halloween, take a look at your local or state website that pinpoints the location of sex offenders, so that you can avoid those houses. Then head out with your children, enabling your home security system before you go, rather than letting them roam the neighborhood alone. If your children are older, and you feel it’s safe for them to go out on their own, be sure to send a cell phone along with them, so they can keep in touch and let you know if they need help. Additionally, know the route they’ll take before they leave.
- Watch for traffic. Especially with people returning from Halloween parties, the streets can be dangerous after dark. Following basic safety rules can help protect your children from danger. If you have teens out driving to parties and other revelry, admonish them to take extra care for their own safety and the safety of others, and make sure they have enough gas in the tank to get where they’re going. Set reasonable curfews to make sure your kids are home before it gets to be too late.
- Don’t assume some places are safe. Even if you take your kids to a church or community sponsored Halloween event, it’s important to keep an eye on them at all times. While these places may be perfectly safe, crowds of strangers make it easy for predators to blend in.
- Keep costumes safe. Make sure they’re visible in the dark and that kids can see through the eyeholes of any mask. If any props are used, be careful to ensure they don’t have sharp edges that could injure your child in a fall.
- Remember to keep your pets safe, too. Some malicious people are cruel to animals on Halloween, especially black cats. No matter what color or species, pets are better off staying inside on this holiday.
- If you’re staying home, check your outdoor lights to be sure that they’re functional. A big part of home security is keeping your outdoor areas well lit. Be careful, too, to pick up any toys or other items in your yard that might trip a child on the way to your porch.