(WECT) - Halloween is all about dressing up, collecting candy, and having a good time, but there are so important safety tips to keep in mind while out and about on All Hallow’s Eve.
According to SafeKids.org, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than any other day of the year. Trick-or-treating hours typically run from 5:30 to 9:30 at night. There are many factors when it comes to safety during that time.
Be sure to walk safely. When trick-or-treating, be sure to follow traffic laws. Use sidewalks, crosswalks and traffic signals. Always look left and right when crossing the street. Be sure to stay off your phone while walking as that will distract you from keeping an eye on what’s going on. Watch for cars that may be backing out of driveways or pulling in. Those under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult while trick-or-treating.
Drive extra careful. Drive slow, especially while in residential areas. Be on high alert for children. Take the extra time to look for kids at intersections, curbs, driveways, and medians. Get rid of distractions, like your phone. That way you have 100% attention on the road. Be sure to enter and exit driveways carefully; kids could be wearing dark costumes that may be hard to see. Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to trick-or-treaters from greater distances.
Safe costumes are important. Try to decorate costumes with reflective tape, stickers, or even try to wear lighter colors. Have children wear glow sticks or carry flashlights while out and about. Choose face paint and makeup instead of masks, which can obstruct vision. Make sure the costume fits well to prevent the child from tripping or falling.
When carving the perfect pumpkin, put safety first. Never allow small children to carve pumpkins. They can draw the face and even scoop out the insides, but when it comes to handling the sharp objects, leave that for an adult. Consider using a flashlight to light the jack-o-lantern rather than a candle. that way you reduce the risk of starting a fire.
Keep trick-or-treaters safe from your home. Remove tripping hazards like a garden hose, toys, or bikes. Anything that someone may not be able to see, but could hurt them. Check outdoor lighting; be sure your front porch light works so trick-or-treaters not only know to come to your home and get candy but so they can see when approaching an unfamiliar place. Sweep away wet leaves from sidewalks and steps to prevent someone from slipping. Restrain pets so they don’t scare or jump on a trick-or-treater.
Have a healthy Halloween. Give your children a good, balanced meal before venturing out for candy. This will discourage them from filling up on the sweets. Consider giving non-edible treats like pencils, spider rings or vampire fangs. This not only helps keep the sugar content down but helps those who may have a food allergy. Don’t let children begin eating candy until you can get home and check out their stash. Tampering is rare, but it’s possible. Try to ration treats for days, weeks, or even months following Halloween. Make a plan with your family to avoid getting a toothache or other health issues caused by too many sweets at once. You can also sell your candy this weekend.
The Wilmington Fire Department invites the community to celebrate Halloween with them. Each fire station is hosting trick-or-treaters on Oct. 31 from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.