Editor’s Note: The safety tip for the month of October is provided by Mifflin County Communities That Care (CTC). This is an ongoing monthly series provided by CTC to help inform the public about key areas of safety concerns. This month’s article was submitted by Jim Tunall, Juniata Valley Chamber of Commerce President.
Halloween can be a fun and exciting time of year for kids and for adults. There are some important safety facts to keep in mind as the season is close at hand.
Tips for Adults
- You need to be fully aware of the exact route your children will be following if you are not going to be with them.
- If you cannot go with them, the best course of action is to send a responsible adult in your place, such as another parent or an older sibling.
- Know all functions the kids may be attending such as parties, school, downtown or mall events.
- Set an exact time for them to return home. Impress upon them the importance of being punctual.
- Take the time to clearly explain the difference between “tricks” and “vandalism”, egging a car or corning people, cars or properties may seem fun but the charges when caught may be criminal.
- Make children fully aware that mistreating animals is always wrong and against the law.
- On “trick or treat” evening know how your pets react and take protective measures to assure their safety and the “trick or treaters”.
Tips for Children
- Make sure your parents approve your costume. It must be fireproof and the eye holes must allow for clear vision.
- Beware of pumpkins with burning candles in them. They may cause a costume fire if you get too close to them or knock them over.
- Avoid carry-along weapons with points or sharp edges that will cause bodily harm if fallen on or you bump into other kids.
- Be supervised when carving pumpkins. Small children should not use a knife, but be limited to cleaning out the insides and painting of the outside.
Treat or Treating
- Feed the kids well before “trick or treating”. They won’t be as likely to eat the candy prior to you inspecting it for dangerous objects.
- Work with the children to plan a safe route. Daylight hours are best. Adult supervision is a must for the younger ones.
- Children should avoid alleys, crossing yards and fields; stick with a group and avoid all houses of unknown people.
- Instruct children to avoid eating all treats until adults have a chance to inspect them.
- Never go inside the home of a stranger or get into their car.
- Make sure each child has a flashlight, glow-stick or reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
- Review basic everyday safety measures such as not getting into cars, not talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets, always paying attention to the traffic lights, and avoiding unknown houses.
Halloween can be a wonderful family tradition to pass along for generations to come, especially if you take the time to review the safety measures and know your children are experiencing a fun and safe holiday.