Children and adults alike enjoy Halloween. It is a festive time of year that heralds in the beginning of other fall holidays and celebrations. Everyone loves the scary costumes, horror movies and don’t forget the trick or treating.
All of these things can be fun, but with many young children walking the neighborhood in relative darkness, it is important to remember a few safety tips.
For a list of haunted houses and more, download our special Halloween Newsletter. It is full of ideas to have a ghoulishly fun Halloween.
Most older children know not to enter a stranger’s home while trick or treating, but it doesn’t hurt to reenforce these rules. With all the excitement of the day and the treasure trove of chocolate, children may forget the rules.
Children should always go out trick or treating accompanied by a responsible adult. If you have a group of kids going, the parents should choose two or three adults to go along and keep an eye on things. Some towns set a curfew for trick or treating which makes it easier for townsfolk to know who’s coming to their door. Make sure and stick to the curfew times and stick to subdivisions and areas with lots of homes so your kids can get in as much trick or treating as possible in a few hours time.
Plan a safe route so parents know where older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home.
Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to trick or treat by themselves. Make sure that they have a cell phone. Let your children know not to cut through back alleys or fields and not to go off the beaten path.
Instruct your children not to eat any treats (especially unwrapped treats) until they bring them home to be examined by an adult. This is a good way for you to get the pick of the best stuff!
Be sure your child’s costume is made of flame retardant material. If you make your child’s costume, be sure to use either a fire-retardant spray or fabric that has been treated with fire-retardant. You should also add reflector strips into the costume. This will assure that they are seen by drivers and that you can keep an eye on them as well if they get ahead of you.
Weapons like scythes, daggers, sabers or swords should be made out of soft, flexible plastic that will bend if fallen on or the playing turns to rough-housing.
The best way to assure your child’s safety while trick or treating is to accompany them.
Why not provide healthful treats for trick-or-treaters, such as individual packs of raisins, trail mix, or pretzels instead of candy.
Make sure sidewalks, entryways and stairs around your home are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in a fall when trick or treaters visit.
Take along a flashlight when you go trick or treating with your friends or your children.
If you have Jack-O-Lanterns in your yard or on your porch, use battery-powered lights or light sticks instead of candles. This cuts down on the fire hazards, such as catching costumes or props on fire.
When using dry ice at your Halloween party punch bowl, use a large punch bowl and a smaller one that fits inside. The smaller one is for the punch, the larger one is to put the dry ice and hot water in. Dry ice can cause serious damage to internal organs if swallowed.
Remember - Chocolate (in any amount) is deadly for dogs because of a chemical they can not tolerate. Keep an eye on your Halloween candy.