Kooky and spooky Halloween will soon be here, bringing giggles, laughter and nightmarish scares. Witches with candy are at the kids’ service, but some parents are feeling quite nervous.
“I am very nervous about trick-or-treating every year,” says Brianne Fullen, of Wellington.
This year, she is taking her 7- and 8-year-olds around the neighborhood and has plans to keep her kids safe.
“We choose local streets that we are familiar with so that at the very least, we know the people a little bit,” she says. “Before the kids eat the candy, we check the wrappers and cut the candy bars in half to make sure no one slipped anything inside.”
While tainted candy is a fear for many parents, the likelihood of kids getting hit by a car increases on Halloween. According to the National Safety Council, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Akron Police Department’s Sergeant Brent Baukenecht offers safety tips for drivers.
“If you are driving, use caution when entering and exiting driveways,” he says. “Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Slow down and take your time because there is increased pedestrian traffic … Lastly, turn your headlights on even in the early evening and eliminate all distractions, including your cell phone.”
To help ensure that Northeast Ohioans have a spooktacular and safe Halloween celebration, Baukenecht offers a list of Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters and those passing out candy.
Before leaving the house:
- Make sure the costumes fit well to prevent tripping.
- Ensure masks don’t restrict vision.
- Consider having everyone in your party wear reflectors.
On the trail:
- Never go trick-or-treating alone.
- Plan your entire route. If your older kids go out, be sure to know where they are going.
- Take your cell phone with you.
- Cross streets at crosswalks only.
- Walk against the traffic on sidewalks.
- Go only to houses with lights on, but never go into anyone’s house, garage, car, camper or vehicle.
Passing out candy:
- Restrain your pets.
- Check that your lights are in good working order.
- Keep your walkway free of clutter.
- Put candle-lit pumpkins on a steady surface and/or consider lighting pumpkins by flashlights.
Before eating candy:
- Discard candy with strange markings.
- Throw out homemade candy.