Countdown to Halloween: Keeping Our Kids Safe

October 29, 2010

 

Countdown to Halloween: Keeping Our Kids Safe

Kids love Halloween! However, trick-or-treating isn’t what it used to be. It’s not as safe as it use to be to let kids walk the streets alone in groups. Trick-or-treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids! They can get dressed in scary costumes and go door to door, begging “Trick-or-Treat!” from neighbors or at the local mall. Many towns have a Harvest Festival so kids can Trick-or-Treat safely and from store to store. But going door to door is really the experience of childhood memories! It should be a fun time, without trouble and pain.

Anytime a child has an accident, it’s tragic. The last thing that you want to happen is for your child to be hurt on a holiday, it would forever live in the minds of the child and the family.

There are many ways to keep your child safe at Halloween, when they are more prone to accidents and injuries as well as daily. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year sometimes makes them forget to be careful. Simple common sense can do a lot to stop any tragedies from happening.

The key to staying safe during Halloween is to know where the danger lies. The number one Halloween hazard is kids being hit by cars.  Children are more likely to be struck on Halloween as opposed to any other night between the hours of 4-8pm.

Costumes can be both creative and safe. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct a child’s vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible instead. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as be seen by drivers.

Tips for Kids

Cross streets safely. Children under 12 should cross streets with an adult. Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.

Pedestrians should try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.

Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.

Parents should remind children to be safe pedestrians around cars. Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Children should not be alone at night without adult supervision if they are under the age of 12. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit.

Tips for Drivers

Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones. Children move in unpredictable ways.

Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

Reduce any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Drive more slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances.

Parents please visit www.familywatchdog.us immediately to discover any presence of sex offenders are in your city, town, and/or neighborhood.

Teaching your kids basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, child safety and awareness, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, enrolling them in a personal safety course will help make them safer not only on Halloween but every day.

Children must understand that a stranger is a person whom you have never met. You may have seen the person before but don’t know anything about him or her. Most strangers are nice, but some are not. You can’t tell if a stranger is nice or not by looking at him or her. But you can tell if a situation is good or bad. Strangers don’t look like monsters, aliens, or the bad guys you see on TV. They look like ordinary people. However, “safety-net” individuals may include uniformed law-enforcement or security officers; a store salesperson with a name tag; the person in an information booth at a mall or other public venue; or a mother with children.

If a child is lost outside children need to be equipped with information as; never wander away from where they first became lost. If they stay put, changes are better that they will be found more quickly. If that place becomes too dangerous because of severe weather or another threatening situation, children should go to the nearest safe spot and wait for rescuers. CHILDREN SHOULD MAKE NOISE EITHER BY YELLING, BLOWING A WHISTLE, OR JUST SIMPLY ATTRACTING ATTENTION. This will help in bringing someone to their rescue.

A really cool and fun event opposed to traditional trick-or-treating is TRUNK-OR-TREATING.  Trunk-or-Treat is a Halloween event that is often church-or community-sponsored.   People gather and park their cars in a large parking lot.  They open their trunks, or the backs of their vehicles, and decorate them.  Then they pass out candy from their trunks.  The event provides a safe family environment for trick-or-treaters.  Decorating your vehicle can be a hoot and fun for the the entire family (using pumpkins, spider webbing, spiders, brooms, bats, cauldrons……scary, cool stuff; just keep in mind the little ones).

Make Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for your kids and they’ll carry on the tradition that you taught them to their own families some day!

Take care and STAY SAFE!

 

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: