Halloween is the one time of year that everyone joins in on the fun of dressing up as someone or something else.
Although Halloween is a fun, exciting, candy-filled holiday, it's important to stay safe at parties and while trick-or-treating, especially with children. The Fairfax County Police Department provided these tips in keeping your friends, family and children safe during Halloween festivities.
- Don't let the excitement of Halloween allow your children to ignore the normal safety precautions: Do not talk to strangers; do not go into homes or cars of people they do not know; and do not approach animals they do not know. Make sure children know their name, phone number and address and to provide this information to a police officer in an emergency or if they are lost.
- Younger children should have an adult with them while older children should provide their route and when they expect to return. If possible, provide a cell phone for your children.
- Children should only visit homes that have their porch lights on.
- Inspect your children's candy before they eat it. Although food tampering is rare, it’s safest to eat only those candies that are individually wrapped and not homemade, unless you know the families who have prepared the homemade treats.
- Have flashlights or glow sticks for children and/or for the accompanying adult.
- Adults are reminded not to drink alcohol and drive.
Costume Safety Tips
Kim Estes, a mom and certified child safety educator and sexual abuse prevention specialist, founded Savvy Parents, Safe Kids to teach parents strategies for how to be prepared and protect their children as much as possible.
Estes said parents should make sure that costumes are safe from hazards this Halloween by making a few easy modifications.
“Make sure their costumes are not too long and causing a tripping hazard, and that swords or knives are made of soft, pliable plastic because they will have a sword or knife fight with the neighbor kids," she said.
"I am a huge fan of reflective tape and glow-in-the-dark spray paint. Both can be purchased on sites like Amazon.com. Use the tape on the costume and use the spray paint in the street to say ‘SLOW!’ or ‘BEWARE: TRICK-OR-TREATERS.’ It goes on clear when painted and does not last long in wet weather.”
- Make sure your child’s Halloween costume is made with fire retardant materials and has eye holes large enough for your child to safely see out of. The costume should be short enough so it doesn’t interfere with walking.
- If your child carries an accessory, such as a fake sword, make sure it’s made from a flexible material such as rubber, so it cannot injure your child or others.
- Consider using makeup on children’s faces instead of a mask to allow the child to see clearly.