Halloween safety tips

Halloween is around the corner and whether you are a trick-or-treater, parent, or motorist, there are safety precautions each of us can take to help ensure it’s a fun and safe night for everyone.

Tips for Trick-or-Treaters & Parents:

  • Trick-or-treat in well-lit areas and only go to homes that have porch lights on.
  • Be very cautious of strangers and individuals acting in an inappropriate manner. Adults asking children for help or directions can potentially be dangerous.
  • Never enter a stranger’s house or vehicle. Parents should emphasize to their children, not to approach vehicles.
  • Walk on sidewalks where possible. If you are in an area that does not have a sidewalk, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Remember that motorists may have difficulty seeing you, so don’t assume the right of way when crossing the street. Always stop, look left, look right, and then look left again to ensure that it is safe to cross the road.
  • Halloween costumes are often dark; adding reflective tape to costumes can help make them more visible to motorists.
  • Instruct children not to cross the street between parked cars and to cross streets at corners and crosswalks where available.
  • Don’t take shortcuts through back alleys or parking lots.
  • Trick-or-treaters should carry flashlights or glow sticks.
  • Young children should be accompanied by adults and older children should trick-or-treat in groups.
  • If you are driving your child to trick-or-treat, make sure he or she exits the vehicle on the curb side and not the traffic side.
  • Kids, please let your parents inspect your candy before eating it. Parents throw away unwrapped or homemade treats from unknown individuals. Also, check for candy that looks like it has been opened or tampered with, is discolored, has tiny pinholes, or is just unusual in appearance.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings while trick-or-treating.
  • Parents, make sure you child knows his or her home phone number and how to call 911 if he or she becomes lost or has an emergency. 911 can be accessed free from any phone and even from cell phones that do not have a service plan.

Tips for Motorists & Homeowners:

  • Motorists, stay alert for increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween night. Remember that children are excited to be collecting candy and may forget to look before stepping into the road.
  • Be patient and slow down. Give children plenty of time to cross the street. Costumes may impair their ability to see and hear you and to get out of your way quickly. Young children may lack the physical ability to cross a street quickly and they don’t effectively evaluate potential traffic threats, cannot anticipate driver behavior, and process sensory information more slowly than adults.
  • Drive defensively. Don’t assume that a pedestrian will move in a predictable manner. Expect the unexpected.
  • Be extra cautious in areas where vehicles are parked along the side of the street. Trick-or-treaters may dart into traffic from between parked cars.
  • Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks available. Also, watch for children walking on medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • Homeowners, if you are giving out candy, turn your porch light on. This not only provides a well-lit area for treat-or-treaters, it also lets them know that you are participating in the Halloween festivities.
  • Eliminate tripping hazards in your yard, walkways, and on your porch (e.g. flower pots, lawn decorations, toys, garden hoses, etc.)