Halloween Safety

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

As the days go by, we move closer to a favorite family holiday — Halloween.

Halloween is a fun and exciting time where folks get to put their imaginations to the test. For weeks, or even months, children and parents alike have been planning and creating their costumes and coordinating trick-or-treating routes.

While Halloween provides a great deal of fun and excitement, it important to remember some basic safety tips. Following these tips will ensure that you and your family are able to celebrate to the fullest.

During the festivities, basic everyday safety can go a long way. Take a moment to remind your children of basic safety guidelines, such as not talking to or getting into a car with strangers and looking both ways before crossing a street. With that in mind, I offer some additional tips to help ensure that you are able to safely enjoy the time with friends and family.

One of the most common suggestions is to make sure your kids do not go out alone. An adult, preferably multiple adults, should always be present when a group of children is trick-or-treating.

Remember, areas that are normally quiet and safe are now filled with large numbers of strangers.

If you’re tasked with leading a convoy of anxious children, always stick to well-lit areas and walk facing traffic, staying as far off to the shoulder as possible.

It is also recommended that you attach a glow stick or reflective tape to your children’s costumes to make them more visible to drivers. Parents can exercise further precautions by making sure masks and other costume accessories do not hinder a child’s vision or movement. It is also a good practice to have at least one person in the group carrying a flashlight with fresh batteries.

For those who will be coming home from work late, or out driving Halloween evening, please use extra caution, as the movements of excited children can be unpredictable at times.

Finally, the most important and most common rule: Do not let your children eat any candy until it has been thoroughly inspected by you or another adult you know and trust.

For more suggestions, parents can visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Halloween Safety page online, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents, or www.safekids.org/tip/halloween-safety-tips.

Stay warm, stay safe and have a happy Halloween!

Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, represents the 37th state Senate District, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Luce and Mackinac counties.