TAMPA (WFLA) — Witches, and goblins, and ghosts oh my! Those just are a few costumes trick-or-treaters in the Tampa Bay area can expect to see on Halloween night.
This year, Halloween falls on a Monday which is when most kids are expected to take to the streets. However, some neighborhoods may be hosting alternative trick-or-treat events and traditions over the weekend. So far, Max Defender 8 forecasts show partly cloudy skies on Halloween with a high of 84 and a low of 68. Sunset will be at 6:46 p.m.
While most cities don’t dictate when and where kids can take to the streets in search of those tasty treats, they do stress the importance of safety to every princess, goblin, and ghoul.
According to BayCare Kids Wellness and Safety Specialist Michelle Sterling, pedestrian safety tops the list of Halloween hazards. In fact, children are more than twice as likely to be injured on Halloween than the rest of the year.
“It’s important for parents and caregivers to remind their trick-or-treaters about walking safely and sharing the road with drivers before they leave their house,” Sterling said.
To stay safe, Sterling says trick-or-treaters should only cross at street corners using marked crosswalks. Parents should make sure their kids have flashlights or glow sticks, reflective tape on their costumes or reflective trick-or-treat bags to alert drivers.
“Typically, children under age 12 should not trick-or-treat without adult supervision,” Sterling said. “If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also put out its own list of safety tips for families looking to take to the streets.
Treat Safety Tips
- Eat only factory-wrapped treats, and never eat anything homemade by strangers.
- Examine all candy for choking hazards and tampering.
- While there is little evidence illicit drug producers are intentionally targeting children with candy-colored pills, always check Halloween candy for unpackaged items and suspicious packaging.
- Be aware of products containing THC, CBD or other cannabis-related products that may resemble gummies or chocolate. While some of these products can be legally purchased by adults, they could be mistakenly consumed by children if not secured properly.
- Remember: If in doubt, throw it out!
Neighborhood Safety Tips
- Trick-or-treat in groups if possible.
- Never allow small children to visit a door without a trusted adult.
- Teach children not to approach vehicles.
- Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to well-lit and familiar areas.
- Only approach well-lit homes where porch or exterior lights are on.
- Avoid shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.
General Safety Tips
- Citizens should keep doors locked, even if they are just “out front” handing out candy, to prevent unwanted persons from entering their homes.
- Instead of visiting unfamiliar neighborhoods, consider Halloween festivities at malls, churches, or events sponsored by local businesses.
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- Report suspicious activity to law enforcement.