Halloween safety tips

Halloween can be one of the most fun holidays of the year, but also one of most dangerous.

Halloween is a particularly deadly night because of the high number of drunken drivers on the roads mixed with the increased number of people on foot. In fact, over the five years from 2007 to 2011, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunken driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (The NHTSA urges people who may drink alcohol to designate a sober driver to get them home safely or consider a taxi!)

Parents should also be concerned and start with a review of the kid's costume choices, making sure costumes aren’t too large or flowing so kids won’t trip. It's also advisable to add reflective tape — which costs pennies at a hardware store — to any part of the costume, even on the backside of the costume. Be a big fan of glow sticks, since they can be worn as necklaces, bracelets, even around the ankles. Parents that have not ordered them ahead of time online can purchase them in bulk at the dollar store and gives them to her kids to share with friends. Every little bit of light helps.

There are also a number of Halloween safety apps that can keep your family safe throughout the Halloween festivities.

iPhone users:

Family Signal

Cost: Free for the basic version, $4.99/month or $49.99/year for the Pro version Available for iOS

FamilySignal is a location-sharing app that comes equipped with several helpful features for your Halloween night. It includes a visual map that allows you to see where in the neighborhood your trick-or-treaters actually are, as well as a “panic button” that will alert you (and the authorities, if necessary) as soon as your child has pushed it in case of emergency. For less serious situations, perhaps when the kids need help carrying their bags of candy home, they can reach you with a feature called “Touch Base”. This allows for a single tap by the kids and an instant notification to your phone. You can also customize your alerts with “Geofences”—these refer to specific areas that you have chosen, maybe school, work, or in this case, your trick-or-treating route. There is no credit card necessary to sign up, and you can access the free version as long as you’d like.

Android users:

Glympse

Cost: Free Available for iOS, Windows, Android A free and straightforward app that allows you to share your location in real-time with approved friends. You can request a Glympse of your children while they’re on the go, or they can freely send you Glympses of their whereabouts at their own discretion. The best way to use Glympse on Halloween night is to decide on a duration of time that your children will be out, set the app to that time period and have your child select you as a recipient. You can track their whereabouts throughout the night without having to request check-ins. With Glympse, your child can send their location via text, email, Facebook or Twitter. It’s a great choice if your spouse also wants updates, but doesn’t want to download the app.

And some other basic Halloween safety tips: