Halloween is one of the most joyfully anticipated days for young people in our community. Thousands of them will be running to the stores to get their best and scariest outfits. What’s scary is not the vampires and superheroes they will portray but the number of young people who are likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween night. This is one of the most dangerous evenings for kids in America. I would encourage parents and youth development professionals to talk to their kids about safety no matter their age so Halloween becomes an exciting and fun experience and not a tragic, traumatic experience. Below are a few safety tips to consider:
Keep cell phones out of reach and pay attention to the roads. Try to trick or treat in large groups and cross the street at cross walks and avoid crossing in the middle of the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
WATCH FOR CARS:
Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street at designated areas and don’t run into the streets or run between parked cars.
TRICK OR TREAT WITH AN ADULT:
Children should never trick or treat without proper supervision of an adult. For the adults, make sure your routes are well lit, you are with a group and consider trick or treating in a neighborhood you’re familiar with. Also make sure each child has your cell phone number in case someone gets separated.
KEEP COSTUMES SAFE:
Make sure someone in your group have light colors, reflective tape, glow sticks or flashlights if possible. I would also prefer that younger kids wear make up or a mask that is properly fitted to ensure that their vision is not obstructed. The same should apply to their clothing, make sure their hats, helmets, or hairpieces don’t obstruct their vision and that their shoes fit to avoid tripping and hurting them selves.
VEHICLES & HOMES:
Make sure children do not approach any vehicles, occupied or not, unless you are with them. Same apply when walking up to a home. Only approach houses where outside lights are on as a signal that you are welcomed. It is also important to ensure that kids are not walking in homes or going through side doors or scaring a home owner or resident. Be cautious as there could be unintended consequences to those actions.
Before you kids eat any of the treats it should be carefully inspected by an adult prior to consumption.
Happy Halloween and make sure your kids have a great supervised experience!
Michael Johnson, MBA Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County CEO