Tips for safe Halloween trick-or-treating

So many people enjoy the traditions of Halloween. We love to dress our little ones in costumes that sometimes take months to plan. It can be fun to greet the eager trick-or-treaters at our door and offer them a tasty treat. But the traditions of Halloween can also put both children and adults at risk. On behalf of the Injury Prevention team at Christiana Care’s Trauma Department, I’d like to share a few things to consider this Halloween as we venture out for the best treats available:

Walk safely

  • Children should be accompanied by an adult until the age of 12.
  • Always walk on sidewalks when available.
  • If sidewalks are not available, walk against the traffic as far to the left as possible.
  • Use crosswalks when available.
  • Cross at street corners, not the middle of the street.
  • Put away cell phones and remove earbuds while walking.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with cars before crossing the street.
  • Teach children not to dart out between parked cars.
  • Be especially alert at driveways when cars may be pulling out.

Be seen

  • Walk in well-lit areas.
  • Take a flashlight or glow stick.
  • Wear light-colored clothing.
  • Add reflective tape to your children’s costumes and bags — and add some to your own outfit.

Wear safe costumes

  • Masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision. Instead, try non-toxic face paint and makeup.
  • Make sure costumes fit properly to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Wear light-colored costumes whenever possible.

Remind older children

  • Review these tips with your older kids before they go out on their own.
  • Only go to familiar places.
  • Do not enter any homes while trick-or-treating.
  • Walk with a buddy or group.

Drive cautiously

Remember that Halloween is the night when kids are more than twice as likely to be hit and killed by a car as any other day of the year. Here are a few driving tips to keep in mind:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.
  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Halloween is fun for children and adults alike. Let us all take some extra time and thought to make it a safe holiday this year.

For more Halloween safety tips and information, check out Safe Kids Worldwide.