Halloween Safety TipsLast updated: Oct 29, 2015
Halloween is one of America’s favorite holidays. An estimated 64 percent of Americans will celebrate this year, and about 41.2 million children ages 5 to 14 will trick or treat. Yet, despite the fun, Halloween does bring some challenges to personal and home safety. These tips from Summit Medical Group’s Director of Security will help you make the holiday a safe one. Happy Halloween!
TIPS FOR PARENTS
Nighttime and stranger safety
- You or another responsible adult should accompany your children.
- Older kids and teens need to stay together as a group, have a safe route so that their parents are aware of their whereabouts, and establish a set time to be at home.
- Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields if they are out alone. Make sure they know to stay in populated areas and not to go off the beaten track.
- Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. This way you can check for any problem candy and get the pick of the best stuff!
- Teach your kids about not getting into strangers cars or talking to strangers, no matter what the person says to them. Commonly used tactics by predators to lure a child are asking for help, a lost pet, acting as an authority figure, and faking an emergency.
- Teach kids the three golden rules if approached by a stranger, drop anything they are carrying that might slow them down, make as much noise as possible, and run to a safe location.
- Use the internet to check your website for sex offenders. Look up your zip code and it will have a list of registered offenders in your area that includes street addresses. Make sure that your kids stay away from these houses! The NJ registry can be found on the NJ State Police website link. http://www.nj.gov/njsp/info/reg_sexoffend.html
- Consider organizing or attending parties at home, in schools, or in community centers as a good alternative to trick or treating.”
- Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.
- In addition to reflective clothing, children should have a flashlight or glow stick when traveling during the evening hours.
- Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over the eyes. All costumes and masks should be clearly marked as flame resistant.
- If a sword, cane, or stick is part of your child's costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child can be easily hurt by these accessories if he or she stumbles or trips.
TIPS FOR ALL ADULTS
- Have a designated driver if attending an adult Halloween party where alcohol is served.
- Do not drive a vehicle while wearing any sort of mask. Your visibility could be obscured.
- Be aware that there are many young children out for the evening, drive SLOWLY and be aware that trick or treaters may dart out from between parked cars.
- Keep your home safe for visiting trick-or-treaters by removing anything from your porch and front yard that a child could trip over such as garden hoses, bikes, toys, and lawn decorations.
- Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and walkways.
- Check outdoor lighting and replace any burned out bulbs.
- Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy platform and away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave them unattended.
TIPS FOR HOME SECURITY
- Visitors will have a chance during Halloween to get a close of up view of your home, secure exterior items like bikes and other valuables.
- Remove valuables from view of the front door so someone does not see something they may want to come back for!
- Don't feel that you have to answer the door after the typical trick-or-treater rush is over. Turn off your porch lights to indicate you are done answering the door for the night.
- Never let strangers or trick or treaters follow you into your home for any reason—even children.
- The average person who does not know you does not want to come into your home anyway since you are a stranger to him. If a stranger is asking for access to your home, be wary and do not accommodate them.
For specific questions about Halloween safety, contact your local police department.