Halloween is right around the corner. Families across the country are getting ready to open up their homes to excited trick-or-treaters or preparing to head out with their own group of enthusiastic candy collectors. Before you hit the streets, review this common sense list of Halloween safety tips to ensure this holiday will be safe for everyone.
Ensuring Candy and Other Items are Safe
One of the biggest fears that parents have about their children on this holiday is the possibility of poison or tainted candy. Although it is a highly uncommon occurrence, it has happened in the past and the possibility of it happening again keeps everyone on edge. Keep your boys and girls out of harm’s way be following these guidelines:
- Instruct children not to eat anything they receive until they return home.
- Caution youngsters not to drink any beverages offered to them while trick-or-treating. Emphasize the importance of this without frightening the children and ruining their enjoyment of trick-or-treating.
- Examine candy and treats in a room with bright lights as soon as trick-or-treaters arrive home. Look for any signs of tampering.
- Do not eat candy that has been unwrapped, opened or looks unusual.
Safety on the Streets
Participate in Halloween with your child. Personally supervise them at all times, or ensure they go trick-or-treating with a responsible and trusted adult. Follow these simple tips to keep them out of danger on the streets:
- Make sure your children are clearly visible at all times. Keeping your eye on them will help keep them safe.
- Don’t let your child enter anyone’s home for any reason.
- Encourage them to wear a brightly-colored costume, carry a brightly-colored candy bag and place reflective strips on their costume. In addition, have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see, and be seen, by drivers.These actions will help drivers see your child better in the dark.
- Only go to houses that have the exterior lights turned on. (homeowners: remember to turn your lights off if you are not participating, or when you run out of candy).
- Try to stay on the sidewalks for safety at all times.
- Teach children to cross the street at corners and look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross the street.
- If driving in an automobile, drive slowly and always stay alert in the neighborhood. Children are excited on Halloween and may dart into the street without notice.
List of Halloween Safety Tips for the Home
- Make sure your decorations are safe. Create a path that is well lit to your house. A dark and scary Halloween night may be what you are trying to achieve, but remember to ensure there is adequate and proper lighting for all of your costumed visitors. Check the lighting for your front entryway or porch and replace any damaged or nonworking bulbs. If accessible areas such as the front yard and walkway aren’t well-lit, add walkway lights or flashlights.
- Remove or highlight potential tripping or falling hazards. Clear any obstacles away from your lawn, steps and porch. Make sure tree roots, branches and other hazards are clearly marked, and secure temporary extension cords. Be sure that the extension cords you use outdoors are rated for outdoor use.
- Avoid open flames. Pumpkins with burning candles require constant supervision and can pose a risk to trailing parts of flammable costumes. Choose battery-operated candles or LED lights instead.
- Don’t overload electrical extension cords. If you have a lot of interior decorations that require power, make sure you’re not putting too much strain on your extension cords. Your cord should be the correct amperage for what you’re plugging in. Check the cord periodically: If any part of the cord, the plug or the socket is hot, discontinue use to prevent overheating
Other Holiday Rituals
- Only adults should carve pumpkins. Supervise children closely around carving tools. Be sure to use a tea light or glow stick in the pumpkin instead of a candle.
- Only adults should handle matches or other lighting devices.
Don’t forget about your pets
Remember to keep chocolate candy, raisins and macadamia nuts away from pets as they are toxic to both dogs and cats. Every year, veterinarians receive thousands of calls regarding sick pets who go into the Halloween candy stash. In addition, Halloween can be a very stressful time for animals. Unfamiliar people are coming and going, ringing the doorbell and sometimes entering your home. Pets experience a high level of anxiety when this happens. They may view the trick or treaters as a threat.
If you have any questions about this list of Halloween safety tips, please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to have fun, don’t eat too much candy, and keep this Halloween safe!
Read more tips for keeping safe during the holidays.