Halloween Safety and Security Tips
As most people know, especially parents, Halloween is just around the corner. The stores are full of candy treats and costumes and the kids are full of ideas on what they want to wear. And again this year they will ask to go “Trick or Treating” without parental chaperoning. These are but a few challenges we face on Halloween. Here are some easy to implement Halloween safety tips to consider.
1. Kids costumes should have reflective properties sewn into them or you can apply reflective tape to bags and jackets. Visibility is the key! Kids that are seen have much less chance of being involved in traffic accidents. You can find this material at craft stores etc. Do not use masks that will prevent a clear field of vision, use face paint as an alternative. Not only should kids be seen, they need to be able to see!
2. If your kids are going out without your supervision (over the age of 12), agree on a route and a time frame before they leave. Make it a rule to only cross streets at signalled cross walks or properly marked intersections. No dodging back and forth across streets!
3. Use the buddy system. The kids may have outgrown parental supervision, but being with older siblings or the neighbour’s kids is advisable. Providing them with your old mobile phone in a zipped up pocket for emergencies is also helpful.
4. Trick or Treaters’ should not approach houses that are dark. If the homeowners’ are participating the house will be well lit, and it will likely have a pumpkin on the front step. It will look welcoming. Kids should also be instructed to NOT enter a strangers’ home, the treats can be received at the front step.
5. As a parent and a homeowner, this is a time to keep all your outside lights on, this can help keep the young ones in clear view, and deter the more troublesome teens from vandalism. At the conclusion of the trick or treating time, spend a few minutes bringing potentially troublesome items into the back yard or garage. This would include the carved jack o’ lanterns, small decorations, electrical cords etc.
6. If you are driving in residential neighbourhoods, cut your speed and pay close attention. Be extra careful when backing out of driveways and parking lots. There will be toddlers and small kids that will be hard to see, plus they can be easily distracted and might suddenly veer onto the street.
Halloween is a time to be enjoyed with your kids and your neighbourhood. If you are new to the neighbourhood or just haven’t had time to get to know your neighbours, this is a great opportunity. One of the most economical and effective ways to create a safe neighbourhood is to get to know the people in your community. So enjoy the evening from your front porch chatting with your neighbours! Happy Halloween!