Tips to keep kids safe on Halloween

trick or treatersHalloween is filled with fun for kids but the holiday also comes with risks.

Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, according to SafeKids.org. They can also be exposed to child predators, poisoning and other dangers.

To keep your children safe, be sure to discuss safety with them and follow these tips from The Family Tree in Baltimore, the leading authority in Maryland on Child abuse and neglect.

Be Costume Conscious
Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Always carry a flashlight. When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls. Swords, knives and other accessories should be short, soft and flexible. Consider face paint and makeup instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Stick with a buddy
Children under 12 should always have adult supervision while trick-or-treating. Older, more mature kids should always trick-or-treat in groups. Make sure you know where they are going and set a time when they should be home.

Stay in safe spaces
Visit families, well-lit streets and houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

Walk safely
Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Never dart out in the street, always cross at corners and teach your child to make eye contact with drivers before crossing.

Check the treats before eating
Always check treats before children eat them. Throw away anything that is tampered with. Examine all treats for choking hazards. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Drive safely
Slow down and be alert — particularly in residential neighborhoods. Take extra time to look for kids in intersections. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during these times.