With Halloween upon us, it is time once again to remember a few important safety tips when preparing for that most spook-tacular day.
I have reposted these tips each year since starting my MiddletownMike blog back in 2008, when the HS&E manager at my place of employment handed them out to everyone, this year is no exception. I hope that readers will heed some (if not all) of the advice contained in these tips so that their Halloween can be happy, safe and fun for everyone.
• Make sure that an adult or older responsible youth accompanies young children.
• Plan and discuss the trick-or-treat route your children intend to follow, ideally a well-lit, well-populated course. Instruct your kids to stick to this route, and establish what tie they should return home.
• Write your child’s name, address and phone number on a piece of paper and slip it in a pocket or pin it to his/her costume, in case your child gets separated from the group.• Review pedestrian safety rules with your children, including looking both ways before crossing the street and not crossing the street between parked cars.
• Tell your children to walk on sidewalks, not on the street; where there are no sidewalks, children should walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.
• Teach your children to stop only at homes that are well-lit, and never enter a stranger’s home.
• If you’re driving your kids around to trick-or-treat make sure they get out of your car on the curb side, not on the traffic side of the road.
• Instruct your kids not to eat any of their treats until they get home. Be sure to wash any fruit and cut it into small pieces before giving it to your kids to eat.
• Knives, swords, and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible material. Sharp toys present all sorts of dangers, including injuring your child if he or she trips and falls on it. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.
• Trim trick-or-treat bags with reflective tape.
• Give your child flashlights to carry so they can be more visible to motorist.
• If your child is wearing a mask, make sure that it has large holes for the eyes and mouth. Also, avoid hats that will slide over your child’s eyes.
Other Halloween Fun
• Avoid giving treats that can be harmful to young children, including gum, peanuts, hard candies and small toys. Also, remember that many children have food allergies to peanuts and dairy products.
• When carving pumpkins, kids should not be allowed to use knives, its best to let children clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it.
• If you set out jack-o-lanterns on your sidewalk or porch, be sure there is enough room for kids to pass through in groups without the danger of costumes catching on fire.
• Explain to your children the consequences of vandalism and other antics, such as animal cruelty. Both are unacceptable and punishable by law.