Remember safety for a happy Halloween experience

Published 11:31 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Question: Got any Halloween safety tips for the kids?
Answer: We need to be especially careful that our children have a safe and happy Halloween experience.
The hard facts are children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.
Repeated and consistent messages are the keys to safety. Given children’s limited attention spans, as well as their changing cognitive abilities, parents need to go over all the correct safety behaviors with their children each and every year.
Parents appear to be getting the message that children are at increased risk when walking in the dark on unfamiliar streets. Yet the fear of poisoned or tampered treats persist strongly, despite research that shows relatively few of these incidents occur each year.
Safe Kids Worldwide recommends the following tips to parents and caregivers:
1. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup instead.
2. Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. (Liquid in glow sticks is hazardous, so don’t let children chew on them)
3. Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. Stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
4. Walk facing traffic, as far to the left as possible. Stay on sidewalks or paths.
5. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours. Kids are excited on Halloween and can dart in front of cars without thinking.
6. When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Avoid carrying swords, sticks or other sharp objects.
Assuring safety while participating in Halloween activities should be top-of-mind for every parent and caregiver in America.
Vickie Clark is the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office and also serves as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. If you have questions or need any information related to Family and Consumer Science contact her at the UT Extension Carter County, 824 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, call 542-1818 or email at

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