You could set your watch to it.
Every Halloween, my mom would set me loose in the neighborhood with a hug and a robust checklist of safety tips: Pay attention, look out for cars, watch where I was going, stay with my group and report home immediately after the candy revelry ended.
Her caution was justified. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrian fatalities. It’s dark and children are excited and often wearing dark clothes.
Fortunately, a little preparation goes a long way. Here’s a checklist of things you’ll want your little candy collectors to have.
- A trip-resistant hem: Have kids take a test run in their costumes, and shorten any that might cause a trip. Also make sure they have enough room in there to move freely.
- A nonrestrictive mask or helmet: Make sure your trick-or-treater has a full line of vision outside of their mask or helmet. (Even better: nontoxic, hypoallergenic face paint.)
- Comfortable shoes: Prevent injuries by letting comfort, not cuteness, win the day.
- Flexible props: Make sure any swords or other props are made of soft plastic or rubber that bends.
- Flame-resistant costumes, wigs and accessories: Check the labels to find out for sure.
- Reflective tape: Attach it to your child’s costume so cars will have an easier time spotting them.
- A flashlight with fresh batteries: Winter’s coming, and it’s dark this time of year. Make sure to have a flashlight on hand to make it easier to see.
- Emergency identification: Secure your child’s name along with your phone number and address on a bracelet or in the costume. Also have them memorize your phone number and know to call 911 in the event of an emergency.
Everything checked off? Then let the candy bonanza begin!
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