Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year for kids and adults alike. But with great fun comes great responsibility to keep it safe. Whether you need safety tips on costumes and trick-or-treating safety, or how to decorate your home with care, here are some Halloween safety ideas to keep the entire family free of unwanted scares and with a bagful of ghoulishly good times.
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When decorating for Halloween, remember to keep safety in mind. Keep walkways and stairs free of obstacles and debris that might cause someone to fall. Keep these areas well-lit as well. Consider accenting walkways with landscape lighting and keep your porch light on during your town’s official trick-or-treat hours. Keep jack o’ lanterns and other decorative items that may hold an open flame away from steps and walkways. Inside, keep these types of items away from curtains and other potentially flammable materials. Use lighting appropriately; light strings rated for indoor use should be used only indoors and vice versa.
The day after trick-or-treating, you may have a mess to clean up. Trash and other debris can be left along sidewalks and other areas around your home. Put on some work gloves and pick it up and put it in a garbage bag. And, if you were unlucky enough to have been the victim of ghouls throwing toilet paper around your landscaping or if your walls or other surfaces were attacked with pumpkins, eggs, or worse—don’t worry—it all can be cleaned up. Strands of toilet paper can be brought down out of trees with a well-aimed stream from a garden hose and then picked up and discarded in a garbage bag. Eggs and other messes can be cleaned off of sidewalks and siding with detergent, water and a sponge or scrub brush. If needed, you can also use a pressure washer for tough messes or stains.
Trick or Treat Safety
As with most child safety issues, adult supervision is a must to ensure trick-or-treating remains fun. Children under the age of 12 should not trick or treat without an adult present. Teach children to cross streets at crosswalks and to obey all traffic signals. Remind them how to look both ways when crossing the street. Enforce a stay-on-the-sidewalks rule or if your neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, instruct kids to walk facing traffic as far from the roadway as possible.
- Give children flashlights as part of their trick-or-treat gear. They’re fun and help kids to see and be seen by others.
Tell children not to enter a stranger’s house unless you’re around, and to remain in sight at all times. Avoid cutting through alleys and other dark, unoccupied areas. This might be a good time to revisit your “stranger danger” talk.
Let kids know that they should not eat any candy they collect until you have examined it later at home. Kids love to empty their bags and examine their loot. This is a good time to look it all over before deciding it’s okay to eat. In most cases, homemade treats should be avoided just to play it safe. Unopened, commercially packaged treats are usually safest.
- If you’re driving a car on Halloween, remember to drive slowly and carefully, keeping an eye out at all times for trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians.
Keep your best 4-legged friends healthy and safe during Halloween by taking just a few simple steps. Keep candy out of reach so that Fido doesn’t get into it. Treats like chocolate can be toxic to dogs, cats and other pets. Decorative items can become a hazard as well. If you hang lights and other electric decorations, keep wires and cords tucked away where pets can’t chew on them. Keep candle-lit pumpkins out of reach so that a pet doesn’t accidentally knock one over and get burned or create a potential fire.
If you’re pet is the type that runs to the door every time someone knocks or rings the doorbell, keep them enclosed in another room or part of the house away from the front door so they don’t cause a problem.
- When opening your front door for trick-or-treaters, make sure your pet doesn’t make a run for it. Keep ID tags up to date and securely on your pet.
Halloween Costume Safety
While kids’ costumes can be scary-looking, they shouldn’t be scary to wear. When selecting a costume, be sure that it fits correctly so your kids can avoid trips and falls. If your child’s costume includes a mask, make sure that the eye holes are large enough so that it doesn’t cover the eyes or otherwise make it hard to see where they’re walking.
When choosing a costume, select a light-colored one that is visible at night or attach reflective tape to the costume so that your kids will be visible in the dark to motorists and other pedestrians.
- Encourage kids to keep masks off when walking between houses during trick or treating, or consider face paint/makeup in lieu of a mask.
- Glow sticks are a fun way to provide light so kids can see when walking. They also make them more visible to everyone else.
- Any accessories such as swords or wands should be soft and flexible.
- Remove any makeup before the kids go to bed to avoid any overnight irritation to skin or eyes. Usually just water and a washcloth will work.
That’s it! Here’s to these Halloween safety tips making your “All Hallows’ Eve” a scary good time.