Halloween safety lists began to emerge in the 1960s after rumors of candy laced with drugs gained national attention. By the 70s, the press was reporting more and more Halloween incidents, such as older children attacking younger children to steal their candy, or children finding razor blades or broken pieces of glass in their treats. Although studies, reports, and investigations have attributed all incidents of Halloween sadism to pranks or diversions for other unrelated crimes, trick-or-treating safety tips continue to surface every season. For the most part, these holiday pointers offer commonsense advice to prevent careless accidents. Most of the safety reminders below are derived from the National Crime Prevention Council, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Make sure young children are accompanied by an adult or responsible teenager when they go door-to-door.
If you can't accompany your children, instruct them to trick-or-treat in their own neighborhood and in well-lighted streets. If children are going to be out after dark, make sure they carry a flashlight.
Teach your children to use the sidewalks if they can. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing cars.
Know which friends your children will be with and which route they are taking.
Leave your porch light on so children will know it's OK to visit your home.
Instruct children never to eat anything until they are home and the treats have been carefully examined. Cut and wash fruit before eating. Throw away anything unwrapped. Check the wrappers of commercial treats for evidence of tampering. Call the police if there are any suspicious treats.
Look for the label Flame Resistant.
Avoid costumes with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
Choose costumes that are light and bright enough to be visible to motorists.
Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping.
Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. High heels are not a good idea.
Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
A natural mask of cosmetics is better than a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision.
Costumes should be large enough so that warm clothes can be worn underneath when it's cold out.
Sword, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
Decorate costumes and treat bags with reflective tape.
If you have long hair, be sure and tie it back before cutting or lighting candles.
Before painting your face, test the makeup on a small part of your skin. If it itches or stings don't use it.
Tip for Parents!
Dentists say that it's better to eat all of the Halloween candy quickly, and then get back to normal eating and brushing habits rather than dragging the sugar fest on for weeks.
If you are out driving, please remember to drive safely! Watch for the kids.
For discussions with your children:
If you are trick or treating after dark carry a flashlight. You can put the flashlight under your
chin for a very scary look! The light helps you see where you are going and makes you visible to cars.
Before kids eat their trick-or-treating bounty, it's important that an adult carefully examine all candy to make sure it has not been tampered with.
Always check with a grown up before eating any candy.
Always say thank you and remember, no tricks!
Keep a very close eye out for cars when crossing the road.
When you are out trick or treating you should wear makeup or a mask that doesn't restrict your vision in any way.
Don't talk to or take treats from people you don't know.
Discuss the route before hand. Only go on well-lit, familiar streets.
Eat a good meal before leaving the house, so that you won't be tempted to eat some candy before having a grown up check them.
Never enter a stranger's home or car.
Don't cut across lawns, as there may be unseen objects to trip over.
Have some money with you so that you can phone home if you need some assistance. Cross at intersections or crosswalks.
Only go to homes that are well-lit or are clearly participating in Halloween.
Be nice to the little kids. When they're all bundled up in their costumes they can fall over very easily.
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