Halloween safety: Tips for trick-or-treaters

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on October 13, 2021 with No Comments

Children love Halloween because of the costumes and treats. But the holiday also brings serious safety risks. Kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween as they are other nights of the year. Burns and cuts also are common on Halloween, and then there are problems caused by candy.

Halloween can be safely enjoyed — especially when parents put care into planning and supervision. Follow these tips to keep your family safe.

MAKE HALLOWEEN SAFETY PART OF YOUR HOLIDAY FUN:  Start with these practical Halloween safety tips.

  • Walk, don’t run from house to house.
  • Stay on sidewalks.
  • Stop and look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Cross the street at intersections, not between parked cars.
  • Stay in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Carry a flashlight and wear bright clothing.
  • Make sure costumes do not drag on the ground.
  • Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
  • Safer to be in groups when walking and trick or treating.
  • Approach only houses that have lights on.
  • Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
  • Wear costumes that don’t restrict your sight.
  • Wait to eat candy after you get home.
  • Parents inspect all candy after returning home.  Any opened candy should be disposed of.
  • Carry a cell phone and immediately report any suspicious activity to police.

CARVE SAFELY: Before you decorate your pumpkins, consider these safety rules.

  • Consider alternatives to carving. Decorate with markers, glitter glue or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with art supplies. Leave carving to an adult.
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights, battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks instead.

STAY SAFE AND SWEET ON THE HOME FRONT: To prepare for trick-or-treaters.

  • Clean up. Put away tripping hazards, such as garden hoses, toys and bikes. Clear wet leaves, snow or other debris from the sidewalk.
  • Turn the lights on. Replace burned-out bulbs to ensure visibility at the walkway and front door.
  • Control your pets. Take no chances that your pet might be frightened and chase or bite a child at your door.
  • Consider sugar substitutes. Instead of handing out sweets, try stickers, fun pencils, rubber insects or colored chalk.

All motorists should slow-down and use extra caution during Tick-or-Treat hours.

HALLOWEEN WITH YOUR PETS: Getting the entire family – including the four-legged family members – involved in the Halloween festivities can be the biggest treat of all. 

  • Take baby steps. Start by trying a simple accessory, like a bandana, on your pets. See if they allow this and will walk around with it on for a few minutes. Not all pets like wearing clothes and some may become stressed or agitated while wearing a costume. 
  • Reward with something tasty. After you put the apparel or costume on your pets, reward them with their favorite treat to create a positive association between wearing the costume and getting a treat.
  • Ensure the costume is safe. Once you know your pets are comfortable in a costume, it’s important to ensure the outfit allows them to walk, bark, meow and see without difficulty. 
  • Keep an eye on body language. Pets often communicate through body language and their behavior may let you know if they’re stressed or uncomfortable. 

REMEMBER: And if you’ll be driving on Halloween, watch for children crossing the street. Be especially careful entering or leaving driveways and alleys. Extra caution can help ensure Halloween safety for everyone. Halloween can be safely enjoyed — especially when parents put care into planning and supervision.

Trick-or-Treat Hours October 31 

Hobart-5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Portage-5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Valparaiso-5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

Chesterton – TBA

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