Boo! October is Halloween Safety Month!

By Roxy Stienblock of the Plainsman

What is your favorite part of October? The cool days, drinking hot apple cider, hay bale rides, watching the leaves change colors, football season? As for most children, Halloween is their favorite part of the month.

Halloween safety month is an annual designation observed in October. Children love the magic of Halloween: trick-or-treating, classroom parties, helping their parents decorate their home, carving/painting pumpkins, trips to the neighborhood haunted house, dressing up as their favorite character, but for moms and dads there is often a fine line between Halloween fun and safety concerns, especially when it comes to road and pedestrian safety.

Here is a scary statistic, children are more likely to be hit by a car or killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Costume Safety:
• Make sure your child’s costume, wigs, and accessories are fire-resistant
• Avoid masks that can obstruct their vision
• When purchasing halloween makeup, make sure it is non-toxic and always test it in a small area first, to avoid redness or irritation, or allergic reactions on the big day. Toxic ingredients have been found in cosmetic marketed to teens and tweens.
Make sure that the Childs shoes fit well and the costumes are short enough that the child doesn’t trip or get entangled.
• If children are allowed out after dark, fasten some reflective tape to their costume or bag, or have the children wear glow sticks. Any kind of bright and reflective item!

When the children are out and about:
• A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds
• Agree on a specific time children should return home
• Teach your children to NEVER enter a stranger’s home to car
• Tell your children NOT to eat any treats until they return home so you can inspect the candy.
• Put electronic devices, yes cellphones, down and keep your head up. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t run across the street.
• Only go to homes with the porch light on

Safety Tips for Motorists:
• Watch for children walking on sidewalks, medians, roadways, and curbs, children tend to dart across the street, and generally aren’t paying attention. Slow down.
• Make sure you are entering and exiting driveways and alleys carefully
• Later in the evening, make sure to watch out for children in dark clothing

At Home:
• Make sure to remove any tripping hazards to keep your home safe for visiting or trick-or-treaters.
• Check outdoor lights and replace burned out bulbs
• Restrain pets so they do not jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.
Children between the ages of 5 and 9 are the victims of animal bites — 5% of all children this age are bitten by an animal each year.

Today, Americans spend an estimated $2.6 billion on candy on Halloween, thus this day itself has become the nations second largest commercial holiday.

COVID-19 and Halloween
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic some individuals and businesses may choose not to partake in Halloween festivities this year. Check the current Covid-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel, or limit the number of attendees at your home.

If you should choose to stay home this year do, a fun activity with your child. You can let them dress up, do arts and crafts, an indoor or outdoor Scavenger hunt for treats with your household in or around your home, watch some Disney Halloween movies, the possibilities are endless! You can always make Halloween a night to remember for you and your children!


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