Halloween excitement is in the air and trick-or-treaters of all ages are preparing for the festivities. But it's best to be aware – Halloween can pose its own special dangers and increased evening activity around our homes and neighborhoods can result in accidents and insurance claims. The first rule of thumb for parents and property owners is to be prepared and minimize the risks.

Safety tips for parents:
Make sure costumes fit properly; loose-fitting costumes can cause a child to trip and fall.
Use make-up instead of masks. Some masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
Discuss safety rules with kids before allowing them to go trick-or-treating. Set a trick-or-treating route and stick with it.
Remind children to visit homes familiar to them and not to approach unlit homes. Provide kids with small battery-powered flashlights.
Stay on sidewalks and avoid crossing yards. Cross streets at the corner, use crosswalks (where they exist) and do not cross between parked cars.
No one eats any neighborhood treats without Mom or Dad’s inspection.

Safety tips for neighbors:
Turn on all outside lights. Leave them on all night to deter vandalism.
Make sure walks and pathways are clear of debris, leaves, garden equipment and lawn decorations.
Repair walkways, railings and steps leading to your home.
If a pumpkin gets smashed on your sidewalk, clean up all the slippery goo.
Move cars, bikes, planters, sprinklers and other items into a locked garage or inside the house to deter theft or vandalism.
Swimming pool owners -- Be sure the pool cover is secure, gates are locked and lights are on around the pool area.
Drivers -- Slow down. It will be dark. Children will be running excitedly. Watch for them in the street and on medians. Exit driveways and alleyways with care and caution.
Pet owners – Watch your dog. If it is not used to little visitors, keep it away from the front door.

Courtesy: Pennsylvania Department of Insurance.


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