Halloween is almost here, is your community ready? This fun holiday presents more risks than others with so many pedestrians are on the road. Did you know:
- 41 million U.S. children will trick-or-treat this year
- Children are two times more likely to be killed in traffic accidents on Halloween
- 28% of fatalities on Halloween are among those out walking, compared to only 14% for the rest of the year
Since it’s a week away, there’s still plenty of time to share safety tips with your residents, ensuring everyone has a fun and safe holiday. The following tips can be easily shared with residents using digital bulletins or newsletters within FRONTSTEPS.
Select the Right Costume
Black is a popular color for Halloween costumes, making it difficult for trick-or-treaters to be seen at night. If kids are allowed to trick-or-treat after dark, make sure they are equipped with flashlights to help them see and be seen. For kids wearing dark costumes, consider attaching glow sticks or reflective tape to their outfits to help standout in the dark.
Masks pose a potential hazard as far as costumes go. Masks can obstruct vision, making it dangerous for kids crossing streets. This can also present an issue with uneven sidewalks or other obstructions when walking. Choose face paint over masks when possible.
70% of parents don’t accompany their children trick-or-treating. This is a bad idea for several reasons, even in the safest of neighborhoods. Kids are excited on this night, running from house to house as quickly as possible to see who can bring home the biggest load of candy. With all the excitement, it’s easy for kids to not take the proper precautions like looking both ways before crossing the street and only crossing at stop lights, crosswalks, and stop signs. For elementary-aged kids, it’s recommended that a parent or guardian accompanies trick-or-treaters.
Establish a Plan for Older Kids
For older kids who are out trick-or-treating on their own, it’s recommended to make a plan before they go out. Discuss boundaries for their trick-or-treating route and establish certain points they can’t go past. Select a time they must be home by and discuss the consequences of not returning home by that time before they go out. Remind them of safety tips they may already know, such as not entering a stranger’s car or home, not looking at their cell phone while walking, and being sure to walk, not run, when crossing the street.
Be on the Lookout
Neighbors should always watch out for one another, and Halloween is no exception. Remind residents to keep an eye out for children when on the roads. Encourage them to report any suspicious behavior to your team, as well as local authorities. For residents wanting to participate, remind them to keep their porchlight on, as well as lights in the house on to make their home look more inviting to trick-or-treaters.
Select Candy Trick-Or-Treaters Will Love
Okay, so this one isn’t a safety tip, but it’s important nonetheless. Become everyone’s favorite house on the block by selecting popular candy choices. According to Fast Company, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are the top choice for Halloween candy, followed by Snickers, M&M’s, and plain Hershey bars. It’s always a good idea to stay away from candy corn, black licorice, and raisins.
From pumpkins to spooky candles, there’s a much higher risk for fires, as
$13 million worth of property damage is caused by fires each Halloween. Remind residents to do an extra round to look for any lit candles before going to bed. As an extra precaution, remind residents to make sure their children’s costumes are fire-resistant.
For additional recommendations to improve resident experience in your community, download our free six-step guide.