We all have fond memories of Halloween and autumn evenings, and we want our children in Fort Collins throughout Northern Colorado to enjoy the same experience.

Unfortunately, the risk of accidents and injuries tends to spike on Halloween. SafeKids.org reports that children actually are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on October 31 as on any other day of the year.

To help you to enjoy a safe, incident-free Halloween, our attorneys offer the following tips:

Going Trick-or-Treating

  • Make sure your child trick-or-treat in groups and with an adult. Children under the age of 12 should never be alone at night without adult supervision. Make sure an adult also carries a flashlight. Remind your trick-or-treaters: Walk, don’t run.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that your child’s shoes fit well and his or her costume is short enough to prevent tripping or entanglement. Use face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision. Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.
  • Stick to homes and areas you know. Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Cross the street at corners. Use traffic signals and crosswalks if they are available.
  • Put down your phones. Enjoy Halloween! Look up and ahead and not down at a screen. Leave texting, Pokemon GO and other online games for another time.
  • Save treats for home. Even though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Consider group events. Community groups, churches, businesses and other organizations present a variety of events for celebrating Halloween and fall in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. Many are specifically for families and/or for children of specific ages. They are easy to find through local media or by searching online. They may be an alternative to trick-or treating.

Welcoming Trick-or-Treaters

[su_row class=”hallow-row-1″][su_column size=”1/6″]ray-heatherman-halloween-blog-01[/su_column][su_column size=”5/6″]Remove slipping and tripping hazards from your front yard, driveway, walkway, steps and porch to make your home safe for visitors. Rake or sweep leaves (or snow and ice) from walkways. Gather and store garden hoses, toys and bikes.[/su_column][/su_row]

[su_row class=”hallow-row-1″][su_column size=”1/6″]ray-heatherman-halloween-blog-02[/su_column][su_column size=”5/6″]Check outdoor lighting and replace burned out bulbs. Turn on your porch light and other outdoor lights to indicate that you welcome trick-or-treaters. Check timers on lights and make sure they turn lights on at dusk (Think about changes in daylight hours this time of year.)[/su_column][/su_row]

[su_row class=”hallow-row-1″][su_column size=”1/6″]ray-heatherman-halloween-blog-03[/su_column][su_column size=”5/6″]Keep pets restrained. Loud, excited children can startle pets and cause them to act to protect themselves or you by jumping up, barking, growling and/or biting.[/su_column][/su_row]

[su_row class=”hallow-row-1″][su_column size=”1/6″]ray-heatherman-halloween-blog-04[/su_column][su_column size=”5/6″]Give out wrapped treats. For safety and other parents’ peace-of-mind, and in order to avoid waste, you should give out only store-packaged treats. Consider non-food treats such as coloring books or pens and pencils and let trick-or-treaters choose.[/su_column][/su_row]

Driving on Halloween

[su_note note_color=”#e1e1e1″ text_color=”#333333″ radius=”0″ class=”lgray-note”]Watch for trick-or-treaters. Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. So, be especially alert for kids during those hours. Make an extra effort to look for children at intersections, on medians and on curbs.[/su_note]

[su_note note_color=”#e1e1e1″ text_color=”#333333″ radius=”0″ class=”lgray-note”]Drive slower. Remember that excited children are more likely to dart out into the road or otherwise act unpredictably. Be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Enter and exit driveways, alleys and side roads slowly and carefully.[/su_note]

[su_note note_color=”#e1e1e1″ text_color=”#333333″ radius=”0″ class=”lgray-note”]Stay alert and sober. Halloween is also a popular holiday for adults. If you go to a Halloween party and drink, make arrangements to stay put or to be driven home. On the way to parties, put away phones and eliminate any other distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings. Don’t drive drunk. Don’t drive distracted.[/su_note]

Whatever you and your family choose to do for Halloween, we hope you have a great – and safe – time.

(Note: The safety tips above and more can be found at Safe Kids Worldwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  and the American Academy of Pediatrics.)