FORSYTH COUNTY – As parents and kids make last minute touches to costumes and yard decorations, local officials say they want everyone to stay safe this Halloween so all they have to worry about are ghouls and ghosts.
Halloween falling on a Saturday adds to concerns for some stakeholders.
“A safe Halloween means seeing and being seen,” said Amy Stracke of AAA. “Excited children who may break the safety rules they usually follow need to be reminded that safety is a responsibility we all share.”
According to AAA, fatal injuries from motor vehicle accidents rise about 50 percent when Halloween is on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
“If your child’s costume does not incorporate reflective strips, consider attaching glow sticks to the costume or have them carry a flashlight,” Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said.
Piper said parents should not let their children wear masks that prevent them from seeing clearly.
“Remind them not to enter homes of a stranger unless with a trusted adult,” he said. “Better yet, go with them.”
For those staying at home to hand out candy, he said, make sure there are no open flames or candles in walkways or where they may come into contact with costumes.
“When driving home, drive slowly,” Piper said. “Our kids are out there.”
After the festivities are over, parents should inspect their kids’ candy before they eat it for choking hazards, signs of tampering and any allergies.
Tips from AAA to keep Halloween safe:
• Reduce distractions inside the car, including talking on the phone or eating, to concentrate on the road and surroundings
• Slow down and be especially alert in residential areas – children may unexpectedly run out in the street or from between parked cars. Children may be in dark costumes and harder to see
• Drive sober – more than 40 percent of fatal crashes on Halloween night involve a drunk driver, AAA said
• If you cannot trick-or-treat with your child, make sure an adult or older, responsible youth is available to supervise children under 12
• Make sure children wear seat belts, even when traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood
• Cross the street and corners using traffic signals and crosswalks and look both ways before crossing
• Wear light-colored clothing or costumes with reflective material or tape
• Consider using nontoxic face paint instead of masks to avoid obstructing vision
• Stay in familiar neighborhoods and only visit homes that have a porch light on
• Properly dispose of candy wrappers to avoid life-threatening obstructions that may require surgery – do not let them eat any candy
• Keep a close eye on pets for vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy – all signs they ate something dangerous
• Consider keeping pets in a quiet room for the night to shield them from the noise of trick-or-treaters and to prevent them from running out the door
• If dressing your pet up, use a loose-fitting costume
• Keep pets away from glow sticks, especially cats who may be drawn toward playing with them