Who doesn’t love this time of year – the chill in the air, the smell of pumpkins, the haphazardly strewn spiderwebs and skeleton bones all around the neighborhood, and Halloween. October 31st deserves an article all to itself, but for now, let’s focus on getting everyone (including your pets) through Samhain in a safe and fun way.
Here are some tips from Safekids.org:
Safety Tips for Kids:
- Costumes can be both creative and safe. The most important thing is to make sure you can be seen by drivers. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Masks can obstruct your vision, so choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible. Carry glow sticks or flashlights so you can see better, as well as be seen by drivers.
- Cross the street safely at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.
- Put electronic devices down and keep heads up and walk, don’t run, across the street.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths.If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
- Slow down and stay alert – Watch out for cars that are turning or backing up and don’t dart out into the street or cross in between parked cars.
Safety Tips for drivers:
- Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
- Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
- Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
Safety Tips for Pets:
- Don’t feed your pets Halloween candy, especially if it contains chocolate or xylitol (a common sugar substitute found in sugar-free candies and gum);
- Make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case s/he escapes through the open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters;
- Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach of pets;
- If you plan to put a costume on your pet, make sure it fits properly and is comfortable, doesn’t have any pieces that can easily be chewed off, and doesn’t interfere with your pet’s sight, hearing, breathing, opening its mouth, or moving. Take time to get your pet accustomed to the costume before Halloween, and never leave your pet unsupervised while he/she is wearing a costume;
- Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from your pets. Although the liquid in these products isn’t likely toxic, it tastes really bad and makes pets salivate excessively and act strangely;
- If your pet is wary of strangers or has a tendency to bite, put him/her in another room during trick-or-treating hours or provide him/her with a safe hiding place;
- Keep your pet inside.
And Safety Tips for Adults:
- Make sure the path to your door is clear, welcome trick-or-treaters with your porch lights and turn on any exterior lights.
- Patrol your street occasionally to discourage speeding motorists, acts of malicious mischief and crimes against children.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to your police department immediately. In San Jose call 9-1-1.
- Do not give homemade or unwrapped treats to children.
Have a Happy Halloween!