Dressing up, going to parties and trick-or-treating are fun activities for kids and families. You can make your Halloween a safe and fun-filled event by coming up with a safety plan with your children. Safety tips for trick-or-treating:
- Determine if your children can go trick-or-treating without adult supervision. If they are mature and old enough to do so, you may decide that they can go out with their friends.
- Have them take a cell phone if they have one. Teach them when to call 9-1-1.
- Visit only those homes where the porch lights are on.
- Accept treats at the door and never enter a stranger’s house.
- Map out the route they will follow, so you will know where to find them. Set a time when they are expected to return from trick-or-treating. They should call you before they make any changes to their plans.
- Identify businesses and neighbors' homes along the route they can go to if they encounter someone who makes them uncomfortable.
- Plan what they can do if they become separated from you, another adult or friends.
- Teach your children to be aware and alert in public. A healthy vigilance over their environment can allow them to identify problems and prompt them to seek help. While they are out, they should remove distractions such as texting and playing games on their mobile phones.
- Encourage them to follow their intuition and act on it if someone's behavior makes them uncomfortable.
- Review pedestrian safety skills such as:
Walking on sidewalks or the shoulder of the road instead of the middle of the street.
Looking both ways and making sure that a driver can see them before crossing.
Crossing the street at intersections or crosswalks. Remind them not to cross in the middle of the street or between parked cars.
Wearing light-colored or reflective clothing to improve visibility.
Carrying a flashlight.
- Avoid masks or costumes that limit visibility and mobility.
- Inspect treats before eating and discard any candy that has packaging already opened.
- Look for alternative, family-friendly events to celebrate during the day such as Halloween in Multnomah Village.
Halloween is a positive and memorable experience for kids and families. Talk to your children about safety, come up with a plan and have a great time!
For more child safety tips, visit: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/570270. On this webpage, we include our article about talking to kids about safety.