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Don’t get spooked!

Keeping Kids Safe on Halloween

Pedestrian safety tips for little ghosts and goblins

Halloween is an exciting night for children; however danger can lurk at every corner and crosswalk. With the days getting shorter, children are likely to be trick-or-treating in the dark when it is harder for drivers to see them and the excitement of the holiday can make everyone less cautious. Prepare your ghosts and goblins for a safe night of fun by reviewing the following tips from Dayton Children’s and Safe Kids Greater Dayton:

  1. Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along a pre-established route. Parents should have a copy of the planned route at home.
  2. Restrict trick-or-treating visits to homes with porch or outside lights illuminated. Instruct children never to enter a home or an apartment building unless accompanied by an adult.
  3. Children should wear light colored costumes, should have reflective elements or attach reflective tape to dark costumes.
  4. Remove breakable items or obstacles including tools, ladders and children’s toys from steps, lawn and porch. Keep jack-o-lanterns lit with candles away from landings or doorsteps where costumes might brush against the flame.
  5. Avoid giving choking hazards including small toys, gum, peanuts and hard candy to small children. Consider giving out non-edible treats, such as pencils and stickers.
  6. Tell children to bring treats home before eating them. Parents should check treats to ensure that items have not been tampered with and are safely sealed.
  7. Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face. Makeup is safer than a loose-fitting mask that can obstruct vision. Make sure any masks worn fit securely. Cut eyeholes large enough for full vision.
  8. Dress children in costumes short enough to avoid tripping with shoes that are appropriately sized. Adult shoes are not safe for trick-or-treaters. The larger size makes it easier for them to trip and fall.
  9.  Don’t let children carry flexible knives, swords or other props. Anything they carry could injure them if they fall.
  10. Tell children to stay on the sidewalk at all times. Stay off roads and cross streets at crosswalks or well-lit intersections. Monitor younger children when they cross the street.

If you are a driver, be extra alert in neighborhoods, avoid distractions and remember that children may not be able to see you through their costumes. Remember, children are excited and may move in unpredictable ways.

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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