The spookiest night of the year is here! Kids everywhere are choosing their favorite costumes and looking forward to their favorite treats. In preparation for this ghoulishly good time, the American Karate Institute is encouraging parents and caregivers to keep safety in mind so that no child is haunted by Halloween-related injuries. Hidden dangers associated with costumes, treats, and decorations can be prevented very easily.
It's never too early to start thinking about safety, so follow these important Halloween safety tips to ensure that this year's holiday is a safe one!
Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Throw away unwrapped or partially wrapped candy, or any with a strange odor, color or texture. To keep kids from munching on candy while they trick-or-treat, make sure they eat a good meal first.
Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.
Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.
Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe. Plan the route your kids will take and tell them how you expect them to behave. Make sure they know not to enter a house or get in a car without your permission.
Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.
Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.
EXPECTING TRICK-OR-TREATERS OR PARTY GUESTS?
Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters, such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
Remove tripping hazards such as flower pots, tree limbs or garden hoses from around your porch and yard before neighborhood children come knocking.
Turn on your porch light to let trick-or-treaters know they're welcome.
Make sure your pets are secured.
If you plan to be away for trick-or-treating or a Halloween party, don't advertise the fact that your home will be unoccupied on social media.
TIPS FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS
If your children plan to trick-or-treat, make sure they stick to neighborhoods they know well and visit only well-lit houses.
Check the sex offender registry at www.ncdoj.gov when planning your child's trick-or-treat route. You can view maps that pinpoint registered offenders' addresses in your neighborhood, and sign up to get email alerts when an offender moves nearby.
Trick-or-treaters should always carry a flashlight with fresh batteries, and all children need to know their home number and how to call 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
Remind children to walk, not run, from house to house and to stick to sidewalks rather than cut across yards. If your neighborhood lacks sidewalks, make sure your kids know to walk on the left side of the road facing traffic.
TIPS ON COSTUMES
Help your child choose a costume that is brightly colored or will reflect light, or add reflective tape.
Make sure that costumes and shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.
Select costumes with labels that say flame resistant or fire-retardant.
Consider non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup or a hat instead of a mask that can block eyesight.
Choose costume props that are safe and won't cause injury; for example, a sword or broomstick made from cardboard.
Tape or pin your child's name, address and phone number to his or her costume.
Tell children not to accept any unwrapped food or open drinks they may be offered.
Have a very HAPPY & SAFE Halloween everyone!