To make planning for safety just as much a part of Halloween as choosing a character or costume is why October is designated Halloween Safety Month. Until relatively recently, Halloween was seen as children’s domain. Yet more and more, it has become an occasion for adult celebration as well. That brings more threats and more distractions that can endanger the little ones, and it makes planning for their safety more important than ever.
The most basic safety element is the presence of an attentive adult. Up to and even through the early teens, children need the shepherding of a grown-up who cares. Plan ahead for who has “the duty” this year. Share or take shifts if more than one parent wants to be in on the Halloween happiness firsthand. But don’t leave it til a last-minute tossup, because it is simply the most important thing you can do to help ensure a happy Halloween.
The Newest Halloween Tradition
Leave the electronic devices at home. Children and accompanying parents must be heads-up for Halloween. Consulting that glowing screen not only means missing the fun you came for, it can mean walking headlong into a hazard that may await you.
It’s Not the Treats, It’s the Traffic
Horror stories of sabotaged treats became a kind of urban legend. Such things are not entirely unknown – and as a result children should not eat treats until they’ve brought them home for a parent’s inspection. But thankfully incidents like these are rare.
A much clearer and nearer danger is the threat of pedestrian traffic injuries, which sadly spike around Halloween. Excited children can become heedless when they dash from house to house, and darting from behind parked cars leads to tragedy.
Costume Rule Number One: Be Seen
Add reflective tape to goodie bags and to any costume that does not have reflective panels built in. There is progress in this area among commercial costumes, but by no means is high visibility widespread; it’s a responsibility for every adult to make sure of before taking the children out for their rounds. Carry flashlights or glow-sticks and make them part of the fun.
And a close second among costume rules is the child’s ability to see out. Many masks restrict their field of vision and that makes accidents even more likely. Be sure the eyeholes of a mask allow the child a normal field of vision, and if not, you can enlarge them.
Costumes and wigs must be fire-retardant, too. Candles and lighted jack-o-lanterns are everywhere on this holiday night and we have to make sure they can’t set a costume alight.
Check Your Halloween Safety Awareness
The Health Alliance Plan (HAP) has one of the most concise yet thorough checklists for Halloween Safety, compiled from the National Safety Council and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
And don’t forget the safety of the grown-up trying to keep up with those eager, excited, fast-moving children! If you haven’t had a checkup recently, now may be the time to do so. To schedule an appointment with us, just call us at 843-815-6468.