While Halloween can be one of the most enticing nights of the year, it can also be one of the most dangerous. On October 31st nearly all children and teens dress up as Superheroes, Elsa’s, Harry Potters, etc. to roam their neighborhood streets on a mission to collect months’ worth of savory treats and sweets. Aside from dental risks that come from Trick-or-Treating, there are many other dangers that arise on this spooky holiday.
For a night where it’s normal to have dim lights, poorly fitted outfits, masks that impair your vision and children approaching stranger’s houses to receive candy after dark, a little knowledge on how to have a safe Halloween couldn’t hurt!
As Halloween approaches the Red Cross has some tips to help make this holiday as safe as possible without abandoning any of the traditional fun.
Costumes are essential for any Halloween festivities, but are yours or your child’s attire a hazard? Here are a few key things to pay attention to when buying/making this year’s costume.
- Having a visible costume will reduce the risk of getting hit by a car. Adding reflective tape to shoes, arms, and legs is a good way to stay visible! Even carrying a flashlight like a member of the Scooby-Doo Gang will help you avoid being caught off guard by any bumps on the ground.
- With an abundance of Jack-O-Lanterns that frame walkways and porches, make sure your costume is made of flame retardant material…100% cotton is a huge no! Jack-O-Lanterns can easily be knocked over and catch on loose clothing…which brings us to the next point, properly fitted clothing and masks: these are costume requirements!
- While you should definitely walk from house to house, we understand all of those mini Flash wannabes are eager to get their next handful of sugary goodness and running in large or lengthy costumes can easily cause a child to trip and injure them self.
- Face paint or stage make-up are great alternatives for any masked vigilantes or masquerade themes, especially since most masks cover your eyes, nostrils, ears and mouth, all important necessities to hear and see passing cars and other obstacles. If you decide to get creative with the face paint test it on a patch of skin first, you wouldn’t want to have a bad reaction and have to go trick-or-treating as Sloth from The Goonies!
- All the Witches and Pirates out there should only carry wands and swords that are plastic and dull. All props should be kept short, soft and flexible to avoid any injuries.
Now that you have a good idea of how to safety proof your costume, let’s look at some tips on the candy aspect of Halloween.
While the idea of Halloween always includes bags full of various candies, this doesn’t mean you should take any and all things offered to you, or that you should eat it. When you and your kids are Trick-or-Treating, make sure they’re being safe by only sticking to the houses that they know, and waiting until they are home to sort through their loot of candy treasures for suspicious treats.
- Unwrapped items: Tampering with candy is a very real thing, fruits and candy that’s not in its original packaging can be dangerous. When you’re in doubt, throw it out!
- Homemade: We get the occasional rice crispy treats, chocolate bars, cookies, etc. You never know what could be in them…unless you personally know the baker then throw it away, no matter how delicious it looks; just think of Hansel & Gretel.
- Allergies: With so many pieces to choose from it’s easy to overlook that one piece with problematic ingredients.
Costume and Candy safety aren’t the only things to be aware of this Halloween. Lastly we have a few more general tips to keep everyone safe and happy.
- For the most part Halloween safety is just common sense, but with all of the excitement of the scariest night of the year, zombie minds are inevitable.
- Trick-or-Treating is never fun on your own, don’t be a lone wolf, travel with a pack. Children under 12 should travel with an alpha adult for maximum safety. Remember, this isn’t a horror film, NEVER enter a stranger’s home, no matter what they say to try and lure you inside.
- If you’re staying home to hand out candy then you can help keep little trick-or-treaters safe with the help of your little fire fighter! By decorating your house with flashlights and glow sticks instead of candles you reduce the risks of your property catching fire as well as anyone walking by. Clearing the walk way and making sure it is well lit, and keeping all pets well contained are other ways to have a safe holiday.
By following these simple tips you and your kids are sure to have a fun and exciting Halloween night with no issues or regrets