Halloween is just around the corner, and the Sheppard Pratt Security Team is interested in keeping everyone safe not only at work, but at home too. The excitement of Halloween can often make children forget to be careful. So, here are some tips that will help keep your little ghosts and goblins safe:
- Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth accompanies young children.
- Plan and discuss the trick-or-treat route your children intend to follow. This is ideally a well-lit, well-populated course. Instruct your kids to stick to this route, and establish what time they should return home.
- Write your child's name, address, and phone number on a piece of paper, and slip it in a pocket or pin it to his or her costume in case your child gets separated from the group.
- Review pedestrian safety rules with your children, including looking both ways before crossing the street and not crossing the street between parked cars.
- Remind your children to stop only at homes that are well-lit, and to never enter a stranger's house.
- If you're driving your kids around to trick-or-treat, make sure they get out of your car on the curb side of the road.
- Instruct your kids not to eat any of their treats until they get home. Examine candy for breaks in packaging. Be sure to wash any fruit and cut it into small pieces before giving it to your kids to eat.
- Keep candy (especially chocolate!) away from pets.
- Knives, swords, and other costume accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible material. Sharp toys present all sorts of dangers, including injuring your child if he or she trips and falls on it. Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.
- Trim trick-or-treat bags with reflective tape.
- Give your children flashlights to carry so they can be more visible to motorists.
- If your child is wearing a mask, make sure that it has large holes for the eyes and mouth. Also, avoid hats that will slide over your child's eyes.
- Choose a costume that is flame-retardant.
Other Halloween Fun:
- Avoid giving treats that can be harmful to young children, including gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys. Also, remember that many children have food allergies to peanuts and dairy products.
- When carving pumpkins, kids should not be allowed to use knives. It's best to let children clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it.
- If you set out jack-o-lanterns on your sidewalk or porch, be sure there is enough room for kids to pass in groups without the danger of costumes catching on fire.
- Explain to your children the consequences of vandalism, such as toilet papering, egging, and disturbing animals or animal cruelty. All are unacceptable and punishable by law.
Happy Halloween – stay safe, and have a great time!
Jeff Hagen, MS, CHPA, CHEP is the Security Manager for Sheppard Pratt Health System.