HALLOWEEN TIPS FOR KIDS AND ADULTS
Compiled from various sources: National Red Cross, National Safety Council, Los Angeles Fire and Police Depts.
Homeowners: Prepare Your Property!
•Turn on porch lights, and all outdoor lights around your home
•Clear the yard of any tripping hazards: tools, plant pots, toys
•Consider backing your cars into the garage for the evening—then if you do need to drive, you have a better view of children on the sidewalk than you would if you had to back out
•Consider isolating pets for the evening; many pets get very agitated by the strange sights and sounds
•Be sure all pets are wearing collars and tags just in case they escape through a frequently opened door
•If you place jack-o-lanterns outside, consider using battery lights or chemical sticks inside instead of candles. If you do use candles, place them well away from areas where trick or treaters are walking
•If you are buying fresh batteries for flashlights that your trick or treaters will be carrying, why not replace your smoke detector batteries at the same time?
•If you don't want to be visited by little revelers, turn off porch lights
•Costumes and wigs should be make of flame retardant material
•Costumes should be a safe length to avoid tripping
•Be cautious with long, flowing costumes near flame
•Be sure masks have both eye holes and breathing holes; eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision
•A good alternative to masks is face paint but be sure it is non toxic and labeled as "lab tested"
•Consider instructing your child to lift the mask over the head while walking
•Costumes should have reflective tape for visibility; trick or treaters should carry flashlights (with fresh batteries) or chemical glow sticks
•Shoes should be well fitting to avoid being a tripping hazard
•Props (swords, brooms, etc) should be safe with smooth tips and made of flexible material so they don't cause injuries if someone falls on them
•Props, especially toy guns (which are discouraged by law enforcement) should not be too realistic
•Trick or treat bags should be large enough and deep enough to avoid candy spills on streets or driveways
•Discreetly place a tag inside your child's costume with name, address, phone number, etc.
•The age at which a child can trick or treat on their own depends on maturity. The National Safety Council recommends children under age 12 be supervised by an adult
Trick or Treating
•When your child is old enough to go without supervision, it is best to go in a group
•Instruct children to stay with the group for the entire evening
•Send along a cell phone
•Map out a route for the kids to follow; point out off limit areas such as alleys, fields, etc
•Instruct children to always WALK, and to stay on sidewalks in lighted areas
•Instruct children to go only to homes of people they know and to avoid houses with porch lights turned off
•Agree on a time kids need to be home
•No bikes, skateboards or rollerblades should be used while trick or treating
•Review basic safety rules with your trick or treaters: never take anything from a stranger, never talk to a stranger in a car, cross at corners, never run between parked cars, stop drop and roll in case costumes catch fire
•Be sure kids eat dinner before heading out—this may help them resist the temptation to eat candy before it is checked
•Or consider sending a small bag of your own treats to tide them over
•Be sure hard candies that are chokeable are not given to young children
•Check all candy when your child returns
•Discard any treats that are not individually wrapped, or beverages that are not sealed
•When in doubt, throw it out