Keep Safety Top of Mind This Halloween

Fall is a fun and busy time here in central Florida as calendars fill up with pumpkin festivals, theme park celebrations, spooky train rides, haunted houses and corn mazes.

But if you ask a child what is the best thing about fall, they'll all have the same answer: Halloween! After all, at what other time can they transform themselves into someone - or something - else?

No matter which costumes they choose, from Star Wars' Rey, Chewy and Stormtrooper to traditional vampires, witches and Disney princesses, you want their trick-or-treating to be fun and safe. Unfortunately, reports that twice as many children are killed in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than any other day of the year.

Here are a few commonsense safety tips to keep your little ghosts and goblins safe this Halloween:

Choose Costumes Carefully

Shop with safety rather than fashion in mind:

  • Boost visibility with bright colors and reflective strips on costumes and treat bags.
  • Have each child carry a glow stick or small flashlight.
  • Reduce the risk of tripping by making sure costumes aren't too long.
  • Select costumes and wigs with flame-resistant labels.
  • Leave large or sharp accessories at home.
  • Be firm with footwear - veto the high heels and insist on sturdy, well-fitting shoes.
  • Apply non-toxic makeup for better visibility over masks.

Discuss Halloween Safety with your Child

  • Plan a route in advance and stick to it.
  • Don't go out alone - stay with your group.
  • Don't enter a stranger's car or home and trick-or-treat only at homes displaying outdoor lights.
  • Carry a flashlight and cell phone.
  • Obey your curfew.
  • Stay on sidewalks and walk, no running.
  • Keep to well-lit areas.
  • Don't eat any treats until you return home.
  • Children under age 10 should always be with an adult.

Make Your Home Safe for Halloween Visitors

Review your yard and home to make sure nothing can trip little trick-or-treaters. Remove lawn furniture and hoses from walkways, driveway and lawn. Keep pets inside and confined. Jack O'Lanterns that are lit by candles should be kept well away from walks and steps, or invest in lights that are battery-operated.

Be extra cautious when driving on Halloween night. Children tend to be excited and impulsive and will be running in the street. Watch for stopped vehicles with fairies and monsters entering or exiting from either side.

Check out more Halloween safety tips at

You can find lots of fun events for children of all ages at

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