Silly Rabbit! Tricks are for kids (and so are the treats)! While children can look forward to Halloween with as much anticipation as Christmas, many parents worry about the safety and well being of their little ghouls and goblins. We spoke with Sgt Sean Sweeny from the Barnstable Police Department about ways you can make sure everyone has a safe and fun Halloween.
Here are a few ideas for costume safety:
- Use make-up or face paint instead of masks. It allows for better recognition and visibility. If your child is using a mask, make sure it fits properly with large holes for the mouth and eyes.
- Wear light colored clothing at night. You can also add reflective tape to any costume!
- Make sure costumes are labeled Flame Retardant / Flame Resistant. To further avoid the risk of contact with candles or flames in jack-o-lanterns, stay away from, or adjust costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing pants or skirts.
- If your child’s costume has props (wants, swords, light sabers, etc) make sure they do not have sharp edges. They should be made out of materials like plastic or cardboard rather than metal.
Here are a few tips for safe Trick-Or-Treating:
- Only give or accept commercially wrapped candy. Do not accept homemade sweets and cookies.
- Have an “Inspection Rule” in place, so no candy is eaten before an adult can give it a once-over.
- Do not send elementary school aged children (or younger) out without an adult. Make sure older children are in safe groups and not alone.
- Although many families go Trick-Or-Treating in the late afternoon or early evening, make sure everyone has flashlights in case you are delayed past sunset. Make sure cellphones are charged in case anyone needs a back-up.
- Only visit well lite houses. Do not let your children enter houses to get candy. Stay on the steps or porch and stay away from dark houses.
- Do not let your children accept rides from people you do not know, even if they are worried about getting home late.
- Best practice is to stay in your own neighborhood or one you are familiar with. Also, if you have a particularly sparse neighborhood, or one that isn’t well lite, you might do well to take the children to an organized trick-or-treating event hosted by a neighborhood or local chamber of commerce.
One last note: Please leave the creepy clowns at home this year!