Hurricane Sandy has thrown Halloween into question for many people along the West Coast, but here in California, the holiday is still very much on. Kids likely have their costumes all picked out and their attention at school is no doubt focused not on class but on all the trick or treating merriment that’s going to take place tonight. We’ve spent the month bringing you a variety of safety tips geared toward Halloween, and even though it’s well-trod ground, we figured we’d take one final moment to educate you on how to keep kids safe tonight, courtesy of tips from the Palo Alto Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.
At this point, most children probably already have their costumes, so there’s not much we can say about picking out a safe costume. However, parents can still make sure their children are in a position to walk without being in danger of tripping, and if a child uses a mask, ask them whether or not they can see out of it. When crossing the street, tell the child to take off said mask so they can see any obstacles. And even though it’s Halloween, opt to go with some accessory other than a toy gun or weapon, and make sure that other props don’t pose an injury hazard.
Be sure to have your kids begin their trick or treating journey while the sun is still out. That way, by the time they’re wrapping up their jaunt, it will still be relatively early and they won’t be subjected to hazards that are presented later in the evening. When the sun does finally go down, make sure your trick or treater carries a flashlight. Specify a route before you begin, and be steadfast in a return time if you have older kids that want to go out alone. With younger children, be sure to accompany them on their trip.
Kids should know how to take the proper precautions when they’re out. They should cross the street at appropriate locales as opposed to between parked automobiles where drivers wouldn’t be able to see them. Trick or treaters should also utilize the sidewalk whenever possible and stick with a group of people. Kids should not go into a person’s home to retrieve candy, and when they’re walking up to a door, they should be cognizant of jack o’ lanterns that could pose a fire threat.
Finally, drivers can do their part to protect trick or treaters. Drive well below the speed limit and pay particular attention to kids that might suddenly cross the street, especially when you’re backing out of a driveway. Minimize distractions, and if you’ve been to a Halloween party and consumed too many libations, have a designated driver ready to go.