According to Safe Kids WorldwideTM, the disturbing fact is, ‘Kids are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.’ However, using flashlights, glow sticks, wearing light-coloured costumes and/or attaching reflective wristbands or tape to Halloween outfits can help make it easier for drivers to see kids. While drivers should always drive with care, they are urged to be especially vigilant between 4pm and midnight on October 31st.
Halloween, admittedly, is certainly not celebrated or even recognized by everyone in your community. However, your personal opinion or belief surrounding Halloween won’t change the fact that on October 31st there will be a myriad of ghosts, ghoulies, goblins, witches and costumes reflected the latest pop culture trends wandering your neighbourhood in search of tasty treats.
The risks at Halloween aren’t just restricted to our children. October 31st is more than just an opportunity for our youth to express their inner alter ego and collect copious amounts of tasty treats (much to the chagrin of dentists everywhere). Halloween celebrations historically extend to the young at heart and can include party-goers enjoying alcohol-related activities.
Halloween should be a time of excitement, celebration, creativity and surprises; taking a few basic precautions can ensure Halloween remains a treat to be enjoyed by everyone. If you have any safety tips to add to those we’ve provided below, please be sure to include them in the comments.
Drop It And Drive™ Halloween Safety TIPS for All Ages & Species
- Plan for a safe ride home or plan to stay over – never drive drunk
- Designate as passenger as your texter to update on ETA or to get directions
- Don’t let the display of costumes & decorated homes distract you from paying attention to the road
- Slow WAY down in residential neighbourhoods – kids, without thought for their safety, can suddenly run across the road. YES, we know they shouldn’t, but we also know they WILL
- Enter and exit driveways, laneways & alleys with extra caution
- Be a responsible party host – make sure driving guests leave sobre or don’t let them leave
- Ensure costume weapons are easily identifiable as toys
Trick or Treaters
- Don’t dash across the road to get the ‘cool’ house – watch for cars, ALWAYS
- Stay in a group – do not Trick or Treat alone
- Never go into a house no matter how tempting it is
- If out with your parents, keep them in sight at all times – don’t run way ahead
- Make sure you can see clearly through masks & head gear
- Only go to homes with the lights on – if their lights are off, respect that they’re not home or are not participating in Halloween
- Don’t eat any of your candy without your parents checking it first
- Ensure your kids’ costumes make them visible – if not, add GloSticks or reflective tape and/or have them carry a flashlight or LED lights (most Dollar Stores, craft stores, sporting goods stores and big box stores carry these items)
- Have a safety plan in place if you get separated from your young trick or treaters — meeting place, cell phone communication, call 911, DO NOT enter a strangers home to use their phone EVER, etc.
- Use makeup as much as possible in lieu of masks or head gear to ensure you kids can see clearly
- Remind them to be careful when crossing over driveways, laneways & alley entryways
- As in years past, check your kids’ candy before letting them eat it – throw away opened or suspicious candy
- Halloween is a great night to keep your pets INSIDE
- Ensure your pets are secure when opening door for trick or treaters
- Sadly, black cats are at particular risk for injury and assault
- Firecrackers & fireworks can spook animals which can cause them to flee from your yard or pull away from you while walking them
- Walk your dogs on a leash – even if you can normally walk your dog leash-free, Halloween is NOT the night to do so
- Use a lighted collar, reflective animal vest or attach a pet safety light to increase their visibility
- Secure livestock and large animals (horses, cows, llamas, pigs, etc.) INSIDE the barn where possible