Halloween is still a few days away, but trick-or-treating has already started in my neck of the woods. In Wisconsin, individual municipalities are given the power to determine their own trick-or-treat times. In recent years, many communities have designated the weekend prior to October 31st as the official period where kids can “legally” go door-to-door collecting free candy.
Safety is the main motivator behind the move. Law makers believe it’s safer for children to trick-or-treat on a weekend when the traffic is lighter. In addition, having kids hit the streets in costume on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon increases the chance of them being accompanied by a parent or other adult who has the weekend off from work.
Regardless of when your city, town or village allows your mini ghouls and goblins to hit up homes for free treats, it’s important keep safety a priority. To ensure trick-or-treaters experience a fun holiday, minus trips to the hospital–or worse–consider the following tips by Safe Kids USA:
*Children under the age of 12 should not be trick-or-treating without a trusted adult.
*Kids should only be trick-or-treating in familiar areas that are well lit.
*Remind your children to cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Also, all pedestrians should look left, right and left again when crossing.
*Adults and children should make eye contact with drivers and watch for cars that are backing out of driveways.
*Trick-or-treaters should walk on sidewalks; if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible.
*Kids should wear light-colored, flame-retardant, costumes decorated with reflective tape or stickers. In addition, pint-sized trick-or-treaters should wear comfortable, sturdy shoes to prevent trips, falls and blisters.
*Have your child carry a flashlight or glow stick to increase visibility to drivers.
*Consider having your kid don face paint rather than a mask which can restrict his vision.