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Safe Kids Wisconsin offers Halloween fun and safety suggestions

MILWAUKEE (CBS58) -- Jessica St. Onge with Safe Kids Wisconsin spent the morning with CBS58 offering suggestions for parents as they gear up for Halloween. 

Keeping Costumes Both Creative and Safe

Making or choosing costumes is part of the fun. Here are some safety reminders to consider when putting together your child’s costume:

  • VISIBILITY is key. It’s a startling fact that kids are twice as likely to get hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Make sure that your child’s costume is VERY visible- especially if trick or treating at night.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, wear light colors.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • Choose costumes that fit properly. Costumes should be large enough to allow warm clothes underneath, but short enough to prevent tripping.
  • For little superheroes, be sure to fasten capes with Velcro that easily pulls apart. Never tie capes or other costume pieces around a child’s neck.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Trick or Treating

  • Kids should trick-or-treat in a group, not alone. Kids younger than 13 should go with an adult. Older kids always go with buddies and follow a preplanned route. Have the kids stay in familiar, well-lit areas and know where your child is going to be at all times.
  • Make sure that kids have a way to communicate back to their parents, such as sending them trick or treating with a cell phone.
  • After trick-or-treating, check all candy. If it’s not wrapped or looks tampered with do not eat it.
  • Keep all hard candy away from kids younger than 3 years of age to prevent choking.
  • Food allergies are serious. Consider offering non-food items like stickers or temporary tattoos instead of candy.

Walk Safely

  • Remind kids to cross streets at crosswalks and intersections, stop at street corners, look left, right and left again before crossing.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
  • Teach children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

Decorate with Care

  • Consider small children when creating spooky displays
  • Keep lights on and make sure paths are well-lit and free from tripping hazards
  • Illuminate carved pumpkins with battery operated lights rather than candles to prevent fire.

Drive Extra Safely on Halloween

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  •  Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings
  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances
  • Popular trick or treating hours are 5:30-9:30pm, so be especially alert for kids during those hours.
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