Did you know … in the United States we consume nearly 24 pounds of candy per person, per year! And let’s be honest, a large portion of this is consumed by children (and adults) at Halloween. Review these with your children and keep them in mind yourself. (The last few might even help you avoid a lawsuit!)
- Never allow your children to trick-or-treat alone. Always escort younger children and have the older kids travel in groups of three or more. Warn them to only accept treats through the doorway – never go inside a house. Halloween is also a great time to remind children to be very cautious of strangers.
- Help your children plan the entire route before leaving home (even if you will be escorting them) and make sure everyone knows what to do if they are separated. By planning ahead, you can avoid problems later. Also, remind children to only trick or treat at houses with the lights on.
- Remind them to walk on sidewalks and driveways when possible and only cross the street at the corner or in a crosswalk. They should not run through yards as they go from house to house. It is hard to see landscaping and debris in the dark so they may trip and injure themselves.
- They need to be wary of fire. Make sure they are wearing a flame retardant costume and that they do not play near lit jack-o-lanterns.
- They will need some essential travel gear … a watch, a flashlight, an alarm whistle and a cellular phone, if possible.
- Add reflective tape to their costumes so drivers can see them. Remind them to keep their flashlight on so drivers can see them more easily.
- Make sure to check their candy before they eat any of it! Remind them, no eating while trick or treating.
If someone gets hurt on your property – especially a child – you could find yourself in the middle of an ugly lawsuit. Take extra precautions … especially at Halloween.
- Clean up the yard, driveway and walkways. Make sure kids have plenty of room to come and go. Remember, kids will be running through the yard, not using the walks.
- Never use real candles in your jack-o-lanterns, especially if you have them on your porch. Trick or Treaters may inadvertently get too close and set their costume on fire. Artificial candles are inexpensive and MUCH safer.
- Pets are easily frightened by strangers and unusual activity. Do not risk them biting someone by taking them along trick or treating. Keep them at home and away from the front door.
- Use lots of common sense… excited kids will be running around your yard. Make sure you do everything you can to prevent them from getting hurt.