It’s hard to believe that October is more than half over. Remember how we all thought time was standing still a year ago? And right around the corner is Halloween. It has been a minute since everyone has had to remember exactly what to remember when it comes to Halloween safety.
First to consider is costume safety. The Food and Drug Administration has a list of reminders that may have been forgotten. Better to be prepared ahead of time.
Of interest:Is the blue pumpkin bucket the right choice for your trick-or-treater?
Make certain that costume choices are done before the day arrives. All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant. If you are allowing your children out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags. Glow sticks can serve the purpose as well.
To help with vision safety, opt for nontoxic Halloween makeup over masks. A mask can obscure vision. But always test makeup in a small area first to see if any irritation develops. And just as importantly, remove all makeup before a child goes to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Here is something that will frighten any parent or guardian: Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Scary right? Lack of visibility because of low lighting at night can also play a factor, causing these accidents.
What can you do to make it as safe as possible for your child beyond the suggestions already made?
Here are practical and common-sense tips: Make certain a responsible adult accompanies young children on their neighborhood rounds. If you have older children who are going alone or with friends, make a plan ahead of time, including how to stay in touch and what route they will take. Also agree on a specific time when they should return home.
There are the safety tips we teach children every day that apply as well. Never enter a stranger’s car or home. You might have the rule that no one goes beyond the door. Travel only in familiar areas. Stay where it is well-lit and stick together as a group.
The old rule of “never eat anything before you get home” is still the reasonable action to take. Not only should all candy and other items handed out be checked for foreign items and something that looks like it may have been tampered with, but this also provides a way in which to scan for any items that may cause food allergies to flare up.
Here is the reminder for everyone. Put your phone or electronic devices down. If ever there was a time when all eyes should be focused ahead, this is it.
Remember that with low lighting, and some paths not normally traveled, the chance of an accident is multiplied. The old advice of “walk, don’t run and look both ways before crossing the street” are front and center here!
More from Debbie Kulick:Pocono Mountains United Way has stepped up to help local families
Accidents are more likely to kill or injure a child on Halloween. With that in mind, if you will be out and about driving while the little ghosts and goblins trick or treating (I’m thinking ghosts and goblins are passé) think about these tips: Watch for children on roadways, medians and curbs. Have you ever noticed even with a sidewalk a child can find a “more suitable walking area?”
Enter and exit any driveway very cautiously. This would apply to alleys and the like as well. AND, although there was great emphasis on making sure children are identifiable with reflective tape, glow sticks and the like, as the day gets darker and into the evening, the chances of not identifying that trick or treater in dark clothing gets harder.
I can hardly believe this one needs to be said, but it must be necessary: Don’t have a new driver decide tonight is the night to be out and about!
Taking the time to prepare and get all the plans made will pay off with a fun and memorable time for both kids and parents!
— Debbie Kulick writes a weekly column for the Pocono Record’s Pike Monroe Life publication and works on the frontlines as an EMT.