By Helena Oliviero
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta-based Safe Kids Georgia and Children’s Healthcare offer the following tips for Halloween:
- Avoid costumes with excessive flowing fabric, such as capes or sleeves. Loose clothing can easily brush up against a jack-o’-lantern or other open flame, causing your child’s costume to catch on fire. Oversized costumes can cause your children to trip and fall.
- If possible, choose a brightly colored costume that drivers can spot easily. If not, decorate the costume with reflective tape and stickers. Glow sticks and flashlights are also good accessories to help trick-or-treaters be visible in the dark.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face. (If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely and cut the eye holes large enough for full vision.)
- Always supervise children under the age of 13. Older children should trick-or-treat in a group, and a curfew should be established for them. Older kids should go in a group — never alone. Create a route ahead of time for all to follow.
- Walk slowly. Be mindful about cars that are on the road, making eye contact with drivers. Always walk on sidewalks and cross at crosswalks, traffic signals. If there are no sidewalks, then walk facing traffic and way to the left.
- Tell your child to go only to well-lit houses and remain on the porch within street view. Teach your child to cross the street only at crosswalks or intersections. Make sure your child understands never to cross between parked cars and to always look both ways before crossing. Remind your child to stay on the sidewalk, if possible, and to walk facing traffic.
- Drivers should back out slowly, keeping a watchful eye on children and knowing that high times for trick-or-treating is 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. No distracted driving.