Halloween Safety

By: P. Christopher Guedri

Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year for kids and parents alike, but it can also be one of the most dangerous. Running around in the dark and ringing stranger's doorbells are activities that require some planning and thought. This article seeks to help parents and kids of all ages have a safe and fun Halloween.

The most important part of Halloween is planning ahead. Decide ahead of time where you want to trick-or-treat and plot your route. Make sure you choose a path that leads you through a safe neighborhood with plenty of houses. You'll be surprised how quickly your kids get tired, you want to get as much trick-or-treating done as quickly as possible. If you have older children who are going out on their own, make sure you know exactly where they'll be and who they'll be with. Remind them not to cut through alleys or fields, to stay on their route, and above all to stay together. No one should ever be trick-or-treating alone, even for just one or two houses. Also make sure your children understand the rules about strangers, and know never to enter someone's house or car. Children trick-or-treating without adult supervision should have a cell phone and a curfew.[1]

Costumes are the best part of Halloween, but they can easily become an inconvenience. When trick-or-treating insist that everyone wear comfortable, sturdy shoes even if they don't go with the costume. Avoid costumes that are too bulky or heavy; remember that your kids have to spend the whole night lugging them around. Even long dresses or baggy pants can easily cause a child to trip in the dark. In addition to the costume, make sure to equip your child with a flashlight or glow stick to make them more visible to drivers. Masks and props are an essential part of the Halloween experience, but remember to stay safe. Tight-fitting masks may restrict breathing and cause children to overheat. Props, especially weapons, should be rubber or foam, nothing capable of hurting a child.

Once you arrive home, make sure you take a good look at all the candy your kids received. Throw away anything that seems to have been opened or isn't in the original wrapper. Your kids may protest, but even homemade treats shouldn't be considered safe unless you personally know who made them.

In addition to being safe while out and about, you should ensure that anyone coming to your house feels safe and welcome. Clean up the yard and remove any barriers or obstacles that might cause kids to trip. If you want visitors, make sure your porch light is on. It is very important that pets be put away. The sight of so many strange people may cause your pet to become territorial or aggressive, which could frighten the children.[2]

Halloween comes with many dangers, but with proper care and planning it is an exciting and fun holiday for the entire family. Kids will remember their Halloween experiences for years to come, and with these tips you can make all those memories good ones.

About the Author: Chris Guedri has been practicing personal injury law with a specialization in traumatic brain injury and wrongful death for more than 20 years. He has been honored by Virginia Business Magazine, recognized by the publication The Best Lawyers in America, and included among the Virginia "Super Lawyers."

[1]For more safety tips: http://childcare.about.com/od/childsafet1/a/trickortreat.htm

[2] To learn how to make your home welcoming on Halloween, follow this link: http://childcare.about.com/od/childsafet1/a/trickortreat_2.htm

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