Most of us are aware of basic rules such as buying flame-retardant costumes, checking our children’s candy before they eat it, and accompanying our children outside. Here are a few extra share-worthy tips to help keep our little Wonder Women and X-Men safe on Halloween night.
The first few tips are critical because children are more than twice as likely to be hit by cars on Halloween than on any other day of the year:
- Drive home before dark. Even if you don’t have children or aren’t planning to participate in festivities, try to arrive at your destination by dusk, if you can, to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road that night. If you run errands in the evening, consider rescheduling them to another day. If you have to go out, try not to be on the road between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., which is the busiest time for trick-or-treaters.
- Don’t use your phone while driving. Try not to take your eyes off the road for a millisecond. Remember that some children who don’t usually walk around in your neighborhood may be there Halloween night; since they’re not familiar with their surroundings, they may be especially distracted.
- Teach children to cross the street properly. Walkers should cross at designated corners, not in the middle of the street — and never between two parked or moving vehicles! They should also stay on the sidewalk whenever possible, facing traffic in the lane closest to them.
- Save the selfies and other photos for home. When you look at a phone screen or a camera flash, your eyes need time to adjust back to the darkness, which is all the time a child needs to walk away — right into the path of a moving car.
- Restrict children’s access to phone features while they’re trick-or-treating. Turn off games, apps, music, and even the ability to make or receive calls except to contact you or 911. You may also want to make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- Use a fitness tracker to monitor older children’s whereabouts. Running and bicycling apps such as MapMyRun and Cyclemeter can be used to watch a person’s route. Simply download and set up the app ahead of time, making sure to turn on the feature that allows specific people to view someone’s location.
- No headphones. No earbuds. No exceptions. On Halloween night, this rule applies to parents and teens too.
- If you hand out a non-edible treat (such as a small toy), package each piece in a small bag. This will help keep children from popping it into their mouths without realizing it’s not candy.
- Use battery-powered “candles” to light jack-o’-lanterns and other decorations. The goal is to eliminate as many fire hazards as possible.
- Use non-toxic face paint instead of masks. Children should be able to see clearly at all times. (You can test the paint to make sure it doesn’t irritate skin, and wash it off before bedtime.) Also, steer clear of decorative contact lenses because they can cause injury.
- “Double up” if the weather is cold. This means adding a base layer under costumes and street clothing, or just having children wear glove liners under mittens or gloves, and an extra pair of socks on feet. If the night is particularly windy, you can also apply a thin coat of Vaseline to faces and lips for extra protection.
All of us at Teladoc hope you and your family have a lot of fun this holiday. If you need us for any kind of non-emergency condition, we’re available 24/7 via mobile app, online, or phone. Just log in and set up your appointment. Happy Halloween!
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