The time for trick-or-treating and spooky festivities is almost upon us, and now is when Baltimore parents should prepare for safety.
Celebrating Halloween in urban settings comes with more hazards than suburban and rural neighborhoods. Whether you’re going door-to-door for candy or heading to a haunted gathering, these are some of the Halloween precautions parents should keep in mind before heading out for the night.
Watch For Cars
Traffic and congestion increases the risk for traffic accidents on Halloween, with more pedestrians and drivers on the road. Safe Kids Worldwide reports twice as many children are killed by cars on Halloween night than any other day of the year. Stay alert and keep everyone in your group together at all times. Only cross at crosswalks and do not let children run ahead or dart through cars.
Prepare For Foot Traffic
Swarms of people are out on the streets and sidewalks on Halloween. Large crowds of people can lead to slip and falls, falls off curbs, and collisions with fixed objects such as poles, benches, and rails. If you have a big group, assign each child a buddy to stick with and make sure you have enough adults to adequately keep an eye on all trick-or-treaters.
Light It Up
Drivers have a hard time seeing trick-or-treaters and partygoers crossing the street at night. Especially when there are more pedestrians to watch for than usual. Dress your kids in light and neon colors or accessorize with reflectors and fun lights. Glow sticks, flashlights, and lanterns are all great items to have on you when out in the city on Halloween.
Check Your Treats
It may be rare to receive a tampered Halloween treat, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Educate your children on what not to eat out of their trick-or-treat bags if they are going unsurpassed with friends. Unwrapped treats, treats with ripped packaging, or homemade treats from neighbors they do not know should all be avoided.
Keep Allergies In Mind
Parents of kids with food allergies are always on high alert but monitoring candy intake on Halloween can be difficult. If your child is allergic to a certain treat, wait until you get home to weed out any dangerous candy. Also, look for teal pumpkins in the area to signify homes that are giving away non-food treats!
Prepare Your Teens For Safety
Make sure your older children and teens are prepared for emergencies when out on their own this week. Provide them with a way to contact you if something goes wrong and have them update you on their location/status as the night goes on. Identifying meeting places for check-ins can also be a great way to ensure everyone is staying safe.
Put Down The Phones
Parents who love to take pictures and videos of Halloween fun will constantly have their phones out to snap memories of the night. However, once your groups starts moving, put the phone down. Trick-or-treating on urban streets is more dangerous than trucking through yards. Kids can quickly wander onto busy roads or trip over hazards that parents are not paying close attention.
You wouldn’t put your kids in the care of a babysitter who was drunk. Hold yourself to the same standards and do not drink while supervising your children trick-or-treating or at Halloween celebrations. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and they are easy to miss if you are impaired.
Go Early To Avoid Chaos
The city can get a little chaotic on Halloween night, with Marylanders of all ages equally excited to celebrate the spooky night. Families with young children should try to go trick-or-treating early to avoid any rowdy party crowds on the streets. Catching the remainder of the sunlight is also a good idea to avoid accidents that occur in the dark.
Ditch The Doors- Hit The Trunks!
Not all neighborhoods in urban settings are safe. Thankfully, trick-or-treaters still have several options to score some treats this Halloween.
Trunk-or-treat events are available all over the city for those looking for a safe and fun way to show off their costumes for some candy. Participants of these events park their cars in protected locations and decorate the trunks for kids to visit similar to going door-to-door. If your family is looking for a trunk-or-treat event, visit Evenbrite for a list of locations near you.
Keep Your Neighbors Safe
Baltimore residents know their neighborhoods better than anyone. Use common sense this holiday and avoid unnecessary dangers. Watch for and report concerning behaviors to local authorities. Drive slowly and stay alert to avoid traffic accidents. And turn on your lights (even if you are not home) to help trick-or-treaters find their way.
Our team at D’Amore Law wishes everyone a safe and fun-filled week of festivities. Happy Halloween, Baltimore!