Monsters, goblins and super-heroes will soon be descending on homes everywhere and while Halloween is a time for fun and treats, possible precautions need to be taken to avoid any accidents or mishaps, especially with small kids around the house.
The key to keeping kids safe during the event is well planned organization of the event, close parental supervision and a few trick-or-treat precautions.
When planning and setting up your Halloween decorations, it is a good idea to consider any potential risks involved.
SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS
Be Aware of Dangers that Might Not be Visible During the Night
- Walk your property before Halloween to identify and minimize potential dangers, especially those difficult to see after dark. For example, check to make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.
- Make sure walking surfaces are even and clear of debris, and that any obstacles are clearly marked, such as stakes, exposed roots or holes.
Remember that Welcoming the Neighborhood Inside Also Invites Risk
- When hosting a haunted house, make sure to allow adequate floor and exit lighting. Keep exits clear to help prevent tripping.
- Avoid advertising the event in your neighborhood or on social media.
Be Smart about Where You Place Decorations
- Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help avoid damage to your home or injury to your guests. For example, make sure inflatable decorations are secured properly and kept away from sources of ignition.
Set Up Spooky Lighting with Caution
- Avoid any kind of open flame.
- Consider using battery-operated candles or LED lighting as a safe alternative to candles.
- Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.
Choose Decorations Wisely
- Avoid dried flowers, cornstalks and crêpe paper because they are highly combustible. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
Do Not be Frightened by the Risks
- Give yourself peace of mind and speak with your insurance agent to make sure you are properly covered.
SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS
- Wear flame retardant costumes.
- Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so the color doesn't run onto your other clothes if it rains.
- Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.
- Hem your costumes so you don't trip and fall.
- Apply reflective tape to your Halloween costumes.
- Avoid cumbersome masks. Use make-up instead.
- Use only hypoallergenic and non-toxic makeup.
- Wear comfortable, practical shoes.
- Double tie your shoelaces so you don't trip.
- Keep your costume and wig away from candles.
- Don't carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Make sure they're not sharp and cannot harm anyone.
- Plan your route ahead of time.
- Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
- Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.
- Take along your hand-phone or money for a phone call.
- Wear identification that's easy to read.
- Always trick or treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.
- Stay on the sidewalks and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.
- Walk. No running.
- Don't trample through flower beds and gardens.
- Watch out for open flames in Jack-o-Lanterns.
- Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
- Only visit well lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses.
- Don't enter any houses unless you know the people.
- Carry a spare Halloween bag, in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.
- Don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals.
- Don't cut across yards and stay out of backyards.
- Follow traffic signals and don't jaywalk.
- Always watch for cars backing up or turning.
- Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire.
- Never accept rides from strangers.
- Respect other people and their property.
- Be polite and say "thank you".
- Don't eat any candy until it's inspected for tampering under bright lights.
- Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.
- Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.
- Report any suspicious or criminal activity to an adult or the police.
- Consider having a party instead of Trick or Treating.