With a month's worth of pumpkin carving, haunted houses and free candy, there's a lot of fun to be had for sure! Let's make sure that the worst thing to happen in your home this Halloween is a tummy ache.
Halloween Safety Tips for Kids
After all the corn mazes, pumpkin patches and school parties, kids and adults alike can be pretty energized when they hit the streets to trick-or-treat. Top that with inexperienced teen drivers headed to parties and there's no wonder that pedestrian fatalities on Halloween are higher than any other day of the year. Fortunately, most fatalities are 100% avoidable. Talk about and enforce these Halloween safety tips to keep your princesses and princes safe (This is great pumpkin carving chat):
- Accompany children under 12.
- Choose light colored costumes so that kids are easily seen.
- Use reflective tape available at costume stores and aon line and carry flashlights to see and be seen.
- Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing vision. Avoid costumes that drag on the ground to prevent tripping or falling.
- Remember to cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
- Teach children to make eye-contact with the driver of a vehicle and assure they have been seen, before stepping in front of any car, ALL YEAR LONG.
- Children should only go to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses.
- Children should know their phone number in case they get lost.
Take some moments while carving pumpkins or doing other activities to talk about safety with your little goblins. 70% of Halloween pedestrian fatalities happen when kids dart out between parked cars and onto dark streets. Many more non-fatal injuries are caused by falls in poorly lit areas and ill-fitting costumes. Exercise caution with flowing costumes and supply flashlights. After all Halloween should be all about creepy crawly fun. For an extra layer of protection, download the FREE ADT Canopy App to know where kids are and if anything dangerous does happen, they can be on the phone with a live ADT rep with one tap if they feel they are in any danger. Download it today.
Halloween Safety Tips for Parents
Surveys show what fears run wild on Halloween for parents. And it makes sense, it's one night they do everything you train them not to do: talk to and take candy from strangers, run the streets at night and act foolish in public. Even though the standard precautions are being thrown out the window, here are some Halloween safety stats to calm some of your fears:
- There has never been a documented cases of a child death from tainted candy picked up on Halloween.
- Most ER visits on Halloween are sports related. In 2011 the top "Halloween related" incident was cuts that occurred while carving pumpkins.
- According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, there is no spike in abductions or kidnappings on Halloween.
So what is extra scary for parents on Halloween? Next to teaching you kids to be safe, your best bet for safety is to tend to your front yard. Yes Ma'am or Sir. Every year, avoidable but serious injuries occur on private properties. A few simple steps will wipe this concern off the list. Remember that excited children in loose flowing costumes and masks that obscure their sight will be clamoring up your doorsteps hyped up on sugar. Avoid candles and other flames on the ground, even inside a pumpkin. Take a quick stroll up your walkway to clear debris and clearly mark uneven ground, make a quick (but spooky!) sign with a paper bag and a post to prevent falls. Lock all bikes, tools and valuable objects that might usually be around in the garage.
One last reminder, if you are not with kids this Halloween and you're headed out to your own party, remember that it's an extraordinarily unsafe day to drink and drive. Almost 50% of vehicle related deaths Halloween Weekend involve blood levels over .08%. If you do find yourself one drink past a safe drive home, many areas offer discount and free taxi service, shuttles and bus rides to keep everyone safe. Look up Tipsy-Tow and similar services that will tow your car and give you a ride or free taxis to get your car the next day. Make Halloween 2015 the safest ever.
Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
Finally, remember those costumes? Many have pointy swords, pitch forks and tails. Now put glow sticks, flashlight and reflective tape all over and the friendliest, most loving pets can get disorientated or worse yet, feel threatened and afraid. Many animals that have never been aggressive attack kids on Halloween. Leave pets inside or keep them on a leash so they can see that even with monsters all about, you are completely in control.
Many vets and animal specialists suggest keeping extra vigilance on your pets for a few days before and a few days after Halloween. Although many pet pranks are harmless, Halloween definitely brings out the pranksters. Most pet adoption agencies will not adopt out black cats for the entire month of October to discourage black cat pranks. Also make sure that pets are properly identified. With all the extra opening and closing of doors, if your pet does sneak out, make it easy for pet-friendly neighbors to get your pet safely back home.
Halloween night should be a blast for all involved. Taking a few pre-cautions will ensure a fun and safe night. If you would like to take your kids off the streets in the neighborhood, consider hosting a Halloween party or check you local community for events such as Trunk-or-Treats, haunted houses or visit your local theme park. Harvest festivals have become a popular fun event without the Halloween theme. For additional security options, look at apps like ADT Canopy with Chaperon that allow families to keep tabs on each other and provide access to live operators that can assist in a scary situation by connecting you to authorities or medical personnel. For information on ADT products and further protecting you loved ones, download your FREE Guide to Protecting your Family or give us a call at 1-800-310-9490.
Editor's Note: This blog was originally publishes October 6, 2014 and was updated and re-published October 6, 2015.