Chattanooga,Tenn.– Safe and Sound, an injury prevention service of Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and Safe Kids Greater Chattanooga lead, reminds parents Halloween can be a fun night for children and adults if you follow important safety tips. 

“There is really nothing tricky to ensuring a safe night for your child on Halloween,” said Cindy Jackson, program coordinator for Safe & Sound.  “Sometimes a few simple reminders will go a long way to prevent a scary situation.”

What do you want to be?

When choosing a costume, make sure it is the correct size for your child.  Children should be able to walk without any obstruction from long costumes or props and see clearly through their masks.  Parents can show their creative side with face paint instead of allowing their child to wear a mask.  Props should also have smooth or flexible edges to prevent injury if your child falls.  Another safety feature to consider is to find a label on the costume that states it is flame retardant material to prevent fire or burning from candles or other fire items.  Adding a flashlight, light stick or reflective tape will also help others see your child at night.

I’m keeping an eye on you.

While at an event or if you are trick or treating with a group of people, never take your eyes off your child.  By adding extra accessories to a popular costume or creating a costume that is different from all the others, you would certainly make it easier to spot your child.   Even though a church, neighborhood or community center event could seem less dangerous, remember there are other people you may not know attending the event.  It would also be helpful to have the child carry a cell phone with programmed phone numbers if he or she is old enough to operate one. Although, being with your child at all times is the safest action you can take.

Parents can be rewarded too!

Your child should eat a full and nutritious meal before going trick or treating.  You can explain he or she can eat a few treats after returning home only after you have inspected their sweet bounty.  This will give you an opportunity to pick out your favorites first and check for foreign objects or ingredients that could cause allergic reactions if eaten.  Candy should only be eaten if it is individually packaged by the candy company or if you know and trust the person who made it.

Slow down! 

Foot traffic is not the only traffic on the neighborhood streets on Halloween.  Motor vehicles are also sharing the road with trick or treaters.  If you are driving a vehicle, please remember the law states it is illegal to text while driving.  You should not be texting.  Talking on the phone is also distracting and especially dangerous on this holiday.  Drivers need to remain alert at all times and drive slower than the recommended speed limit in case there are pedestrians on the road.  Pay extra attention to the sidewalks, crosswalks and intersections.  Do not pass vehicles that are stopped in the roadway.  Those vehicles may have stopped for pedestrians who are crossing the street.  If you are pulling off the road into a safe spot to drop off or pick up trick or treaters, be sure to turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

“Halloween is a fun holiday,” saidJackson.  “Do not allow your child become another emergency room statistic on Halloween.  By following these simple suggestions and using common safety sense, we know you will make it a memorable holiday for your family.”