Halloween is full of fun — dressing up, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and lots and lots of candy.
It’s also an evening fraught with safety hazards — everything from benign tummy aches to tripping over costumes or on poorly lit sidewalks to getting hit by cars.
And this year, Halloween falls on a Friday. While many kids and adults can enjoy staying out later, it also means more caution is needed as families with little trick-or-treaters and eager partygoers hit the streets at the same time, some on foot, and others in cars.
Atlanta-based Safe Kids Georgia and Children’s Healthcare offer the following tips for Halloween:
1. Avoid costumes with excessive flowing fabric, such as capes or sleeves. Loose clothing can brush up against a jack-o’-lantern or open flame, causing the costume to catch fire. Oversized costumes can cause trips and falls.
2. If possible, choose a brightly colored costume that drivers can spot easily. If not, decorate the costume with reflective tape and stickers. Glow sticks and flashlights are also good accessories.
3. Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely and cut the eye holes large enough for full vision.
4. Inspect the treats. Toss anything tampered with or that has loose wrappers or doesn’t seem right. Also toss anything homemade — unless you know the person who gave it to your child and can be sure it’s safe.
5. Always supervise children under the age of 13. Older children should trick-or-treat in a group, and a curfew should be established. Older kids should go in a group —- never alone. Create a route ahead of time.
6. Walk slowly. Be mindful about cars, making eye contact with drivers. Always walk on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks or traffic signals. If there are no sidewalks, then walk facing traffic and way to the left.
7. Tell your child to go only to well-lit houses and remain on the porch within street view. Make sure your child understands never to cross between parked cars and to look both ways before crossing.
8. Drivers should back out slowly, keeping a watchful eye on children and knowing that high times for trick-or-treating are from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. No distracted driving.