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Are you ready for Halloween? Whether you’re a new parent taking your kids trick-or-treating for the first time or have been doing it for years, these tips provided by the Georgia Attorney General’s office and the Savannah Police Department serve as a helpful reminder of quick ways you can keep your kids safe this Halloween.
- It is important that costumes are fire retardant.
- Masks make a great addition to a costume, but you should make sure your child has eye holes large enough for good peripheral vision.
- If your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, make sure that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on.
- Make sure Halloween costumes fit properly. Allow extra room for warm clothes to be worn underneath the costume, while avoiding long, loose-fitting costumes that may pose a trip hazard or increase the chances of being ignited by an open flame, such as a candle.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for Halloween merchandise. Take the time to compare prices and return policies, if any, for your costume and tricks or treats. The Better Business Bureau offers some shopping tips here.
- Know where your children are going to be. If they’re at a school function, friend’s house or public event, have a number for their supervisor, the address and a set pick-up time and location.
- Explain to your children the proper forms of “trickery.” Vandalism is not okay, even on Halloween.
- Serve your kids a filling meal before trick or treating and they won’t be as tempted to eat any candy before they bring it home for you to check.
- If you are allowing the children to trick or treat by themselves, know the route your children are taking. Let them know to check in every hour, by phone or by stopping back at home. Make sure they know not to deviate from the planned route.
- Be sure your children know how to cross a street properly. They should always look both ways before crossing the street and should only cross at corners or crosswalks. Make sure that if you have more than one child, they know to take the hand of the younger child when they cross a street.
- Teach your kids about not getting into strangers’ cars or talking to strangers, no matter what the person says to them.
- Teach your children never to approach a home that is not well lit inside and outside.
- Trick or treat only during the suggested timeframe – 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.
- Only visit familiar, well-lit neighborhoods and homes that have their porch lights on.
- Parents should inspect children’s candy before they eat any. If anything is unwrapped or looks suspicious, throw it away.
- Make sure trick-or-treaters have a flashlight and are wearing costumes that do not restrict their vision, could cause them to trip, are flame retardant and are light colored and visible. Consider placing reflective tape on costumes or treat bags.
- Never go into a stranger’s home.
- Always trick or treat with an adult.
- Notify police of any suspicious activity.
- Keep open flames, such as candles, away from curtains, decorations or other objects that could catch fire.
- Never leave lit candles unattended. Any open flame can potentially be dangerous. Consider purchasing battery-operated lights to place inside of pumpkins instead.
For more safety tips in a printable PDF from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, click here.