Safe Halloween Tips

There are accidents and incidents every Halloween that can spoil the holiday. Pedestrian accidents, tampered products causing illness or lacerations, falls, fires, etc. Here are my Top 10 Tips to keep your family safe this halloween.

  1. Costumes. Make sure the costumes you buy are flame retardant. They should fit well and not be too long so kids can walk without tripping. Watch out for dangling strings, fringes, scarves, etc. When choosing a costume, pick ones that will be comfortable for hours of wear, and will keep the child warm enough for chilly nights trick or treating. Avoid costumes and accessories that are sharp or pointy.

  2. Be visible. Costume that are reflective or bright are best so kids are visible by car drivers. If the costume is dark, consider adding some reflective tape to the costume, treat bag, shoes, etc.  Reflective tape and a flashlight can make your child more visible in the dark.

  3. Masks. Be wary of mask since they can obscure vision. They are usually difficult to wear for any length of time. Opt for makeup and hats instead.

  4. Pumpkins. Do not let kids carve pumpkins themselves. Let them draw faces or designs on the pumpkins with markers and you do the carving. Instead of candles, use fairy lights, Christmas lights, or the orange lights now available at many stores. Just carve an extra hole in the back of the pumpkin so you can bring the plug through.

  5. Your Home. Before the little ghouls and goblins start arriving, make sure your home is ready. Clear off any items on your lawn that kids could trip on in the dark. Make sure your walkway is clear and lit. Check that your porch light works.

  6. Pets. Pets should be secured in a back part of the house. All the excitement and noise can upset them. You do not want them getting loose, or worse - biting a child.

  7. Safety outside. Warn your kids about running across the street. Night comes earlier this time of year and motorists may have trouble seeing the little ones if they dart out. There are pedestrian accidents every year during Halloween.  Use extra caution if you are driving.

  8. Safe Trick or Treating.  An adult must always go with small children. Teach your child to only go to homes where the lights are on. They should never enter inside a home. They should never go off with anyone promising sweets or enter a car for treats.

  9. Safety in Numbers. Older kids will probably want to go without parents, but lay down some rules first. Make kids stay together. Plan the route they will take, so they can find each other if one person gets lost, and you know where to go looking for them if you need to. Remind them to remain on the streets: not to cut across lawns or through alley ways. At least one child should carry a cell phone.

  10. Treat Safety. Once your kids get home, go through their candy. Throw out any suspicious or unwrapped items. Apples should be washed and cut up into pieces or used to make apple sauce. Limit the sweets children eat. My recommendation is to give Halloween toys instead of candy. They are free of allergens and sugar; toys are fun; and leftovers can be saved for next year.

A little preparation can ensure everyone has a happy, and safe, Halloween.