From the Homefront: Keeping our littlest Coasties safe on Halloween

Twice a month, Coast Guard All Hands will feature “From the Homefront,” a column for Coast Guard spouses by Coast Guard spouse Shelley Kimball. Shelley has been married to Capt. Joe Kimball, commanding officer of Air Station Miami, for nearly 13 years and currently serves as chapter director for Blue Star Families in Miami, Fla.

EmmaRose and Bryant Barefield in their Halloween best! Photo courtesy of the Barefield Family.

EmmaRose and Bryant Barefield in their Halloween best! Photo courtesy of the Barefield Family.

Written by Shelley Kimball.

Consider this our incredibly sweet version of From the Homefront for Halloween. We know you are probably here to see the cute pictures of Coastie kids, but we thought we’d slip in some safety tips, too – you know, Semper Paratus and all. Best wishes for a happy and safe Halloween!

S: Stay to well-lighted paths when possible, and stay on the sidewalk instead of walking in the street.

T: Teach your children your cell phone number in case they get separated from you in the dark. Also, print the number somewhere inside their costumes.

A: Always Trick or Treat with other people – never go alone.

Y: You might want to consider battery-operated candles in your pumpkins this year. Lit candles can be knocked over easily by trick or treaters.

Liam Ancillai prepares to head out "to infinity ... and beyond!" Photo courtesy of the Ancillai Family.

Liam Ancillai prepares to head out “to infinity … and beyond!” Photo courtesy of the Ancillai Family.

S: Stick to giving out commercially wrapped candy as opposed to homemade treats.

A: Attach reflective devices to clothing and Halloween accessories so that drivers can spot people in the dark.

F: Flashlights are essential for safe walking, and to ensure others can see you.

E: Examine your treats closely before eating them.

C: Cross the street only after looking both ways. Not only may the cars be hard to see, but you may be hard to see, too.

O: Overloading electrical outlets with scary lights and décor can be a hazard.

A: As you enter and exit driveways in your car, do so carefully.

S: Swords, wands and other props should be short and flexible.

T: Travel especially cautiously by car between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., as those are the most popular hours for Trick or Treating.

I: If you are new to a neighborhood, take special care to be alert to your surroundings.

E: Ensure that your costumes and masks fit properly to avoid tripping, falling, or having trouble seeing.

S: Stay safe and Happy Halloween!


And now, those cute Coastie kids I promised you …

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

The views expressed herein are those of the author and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Commandant or of the U.S. Coast Guard.

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