Halloween Safety for Kids
- By Jenna Maxwell
Halloween is one of the most fun holidays for kids. Many wait all year for the chance to dress up in scary or funny costumes and collect as much candy as they can. Celebrating this holiday, however, needs to be done safely and smartly. If you're a kid who's about to trick-or-treat, you can make a lot of good choices that will keep you free from injuries and accidents. Wearing snug costumes, carrying certain items, and doing the right things on the street can protect you while you scare up treats and avoid tricks.
Ask your parent or an adult to come with you when you trick-or-treat. They can help guide you to good areas. An older kid, like a big brother or sister, can do this, too, if you can't find a grown-up. If you want to trick-or-treat by yourself, stay within your neighborhood and only knock on the doors of people you know. Tell your parents exactly which houses you want to visit. An adult can help you decide on a safe route to take. Halloween celebrations in malls can also be a safe and fun place to get lots of candy.
A big part of Halloween is choosing the right costume. No matter what ghost, ghoul, or monster you want to be, you'll stay safer if you make smart choices about what you wear on this holiday. When your parents help you buy or create your costume, make sure that the material is fire-resistant and fits snugly against your body. Children's costumes that are longer than below the knee can make you trip or get caught on things. Choose props that are soft and flexible, and make sure that any that you use, like swords, fit above your waist and away from your legs. Always wear comfortable shoes, even if they don't really go with your costume: they'll protect your feet and save you from injuries or foot problems like blisters. Ask your parents to put pieces of reflective tape on your costume, and wear a glow-in-the-dark necklace so that drivers of cars can see you when you're walking.
For some kids, putting on their masks or applying makeup is the best part of Halloween. When choosing a mask, find one that has big enough holes in it to see and breathe out of. Take off your mask when you're moving between houses so that you can see where you're walking and can avoid accidents on sidewalks, roads, and steps. Think about using face paint instead of a mask so that you don't have to keep taking off your mask throughout the night. Get a parent or an adult to help you apply makeup so that you don't accidentally get any of it in your eyes.
While a great costume can make you look like the coolest kid on the street, you should also plan on taking other items with you while hunting for candy. Choose a candy bag that shines brightly when light hits it. Take a flashlight to help you see where you're going while you're walking in the dark and trying to get from house to house. Keep a glow stick in your bag just in case you lose or break your flashlight. A cell phone can also help you keep in touch with your parents or find your friends if you get separated from them.
Stay close to people you know or who are with you, and don't talk to strangers. Don't go up to any houses that don't have the lights on. Refuse to take candy from anyone offering it from a car. Stay in areas with lots of light, and turn down strangers who offer to give you a ride home or to more houses. Keep an eye out for cars: When crossing streets, do it from a space that is wide open so drivers can see you before you start moving. If you can, choose to trick-or-treat while there's still light outside so that drivers will have an easier time noticing you. Always pay attention when you spot an open flame, like those in jack-o'-lanterns. Keep enough space between it and you so that the flame won't catch on your clothes or part of your costume.
Waiting to eat your candy before you get home can be hard, but it's safer than snacking while you're out and about. When you get home, let an adult check your candy and treats before you dig into them. You can make their job easier by throwing away candy that looks open and setting aside treats that look homemade. While fruit can look tasty and tempting, you should also set it aside or throw it away because it can be hard to tell if it's safe to eat. Once a parent gives you a pile of candy that they've checked, feel free to nibble and munch on your treats!
Visit the following links to learn more about Halloween safety for kids:
- Halloween Safety (PDF)