Trick-or-treating is the perfect way to make magical memories with your children on Halloween in Mansfield. But it's not all fun and games—you also want to keep your kids safe.
Mom Kim Estes makes it her mission to help parents keep their kids out of harm's way all year round. Estes, a certified child safety educator and sexual abuse prevention specialist, founded Savvy Parents, Safe Kids to teach parents strategies for how to be prepared and protect their children as much as possible.
Estes said parents should make sure that costumes are safe from hazards this Halloween by making a few easy modifications.
“Make sure their costumes are not too long and causing a tripping hazard, and that swords or knives are made of soft, pliable plastic because they will have a sword or knife fight with the neighbor kids," she said.
Sgt. Richard Cournoyer of the Mansfield Resident State Trooper's Office also offered a few tips on how to stay safe this Halloween season.
Cournoyer said that when trick-or-treating, kids should only approach homes in areas they are familiar with and should not enter any house while trick-or-treating.
"You know your neighbors and there is more of a trsut factor, especially when it comes to giving out candy," Cournoyer said.
While it's ideal for kids to be accompanied by their parents while trick-or-treating, Cournoyer said children should always walk in groups. "There is safety in numbers," he said.
Trick-or-treaters should also stay alert for vehicles, use flashlights and wear light or reflective clothing, Cournoyer said. "This will make you more visible to traffic, especially with the downtown development," Cournoyer said.
Halloween decorations can become fire hazards if used without care, Estes warned.
“Use battery-operated 'candles' in pumpkins on Halloween night. Children are not paying attention and crowd together at the front door and costumes can easily be brushed up against open flames,” she said.
Trick-or-treating with the family dog or cat can be fun, but families should take precautions, she said.
“Adults should also be careful when taking pets along when trick-or-treating, or having pets at the door when trick-or-treaters arrive. Masks and other costumes can be frightening to pets and can cause them to act aggressively if frightened," she said. "If you are unsure, test your pet's comfort level by trying on a mask and see how they respond.”
Estes recommends Wag-N-Train’s website for more Halloween safety tips for kids and pets.
Mansfield Resident State Troopers are also offering pointers for how to stay safe on Halloween during an Oct. 27 event at East Brook Mall. Police will be available from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. to talk safety and participate in Halloween festivities. All are welcome.
Once you have a hazard-free costume put together and have reviewed safety rules with your children, it’s time to have some Halloween fun!
TELL US: Where will you be taking your children trick-or-treating? Do you have any safety tips that apply to your community? Share in the comments below.