Fall celebrations, Halloween in particular, offer fun times for children and adults alike. Dressing up, decorating, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, parties, and delicious treats like chocolate bars and candy corn all add to the fun festivities. But, even so, Halloween can become an evening filled with risks – from belly aches to skinned knees, torn costumes to road hazards. Let’s keep Halloween fun and exciting for everyone involved by following these Halloween Safety Tips.
On the Road – Proceed with caution. Halloween is a time when children are out in droves as families hit the streets for trick-or-treating with their little ghouls and goblins. Sadly, statistics show children are struck by cars twice as often on Halloween when compared to other days of the year, so to eliminate those deaths, it is important that drivers stay vigilant and parents plan ahead. Parents should make sure costume choices are safe for walking (and even running) from door to door while trick-or-treating. Adding reflective tape is an easy way to increase safety while keeping Halloween fun. Glow sticks and flashlights make kids more visible to drivers while helping kids find their way in the darkness. Make sure trick-or-treaters stay on sidewalks, facing oncoming traffic, and cross at intersections after looking both ways. Drivers should back out slowly and avoid distracted driving.
Costume Safety – While briefly mentioned, costume safety is important. Oversized or long flowing costumes are often responsible for falls while trick or treating. Also, long robes, capes, and other flowing costumes can quickly become a fire hazard at homes with lit jack-o-lanterns. Face paint is a great alternative to masks which often obstruct vision. If masks are used, make sure they fit properly and your child can see well. Accessories (swords, tridents, knives, wands, etc.) should be flexible, short, and bendable. Decorative contact lenses (for older kids and adults) should be avoided as they can cause serious eye issues including corneal abrasions and ulcers.
Trick-or-Treat – Remind your children to only visit well-lit houses and remain on the porch at all times, entering homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Children under the age of 13, in most cases, should be supervised during trick-or-treating. (Of course, you know your child best and can decide the age when he or she can go out unsupervised with a group of friends.) Older children heading out with a group should always stay together, and know their curfew. In addition, parents should help older kids create a route to stick with, and be reminded never to accept rides from strangers. Children of all ages should be reminded, even if they groan as you say it, to look both ways and never cross the street between parked cars.
Candy Time – Parents should inspect all treats for anything that appears tampered with (loose wrappers, homemade treats (unless from a trusted friend or family member, candy or treats that just don’t look quite right, and so on). For little ones, look for potential choking hazards and remove them right away. And, when possible, limit the number of treats the children (and you!) eat at one sitting.
Party Throwers and Goers – If you are throwing the Halloween Bash this year, be sure to offer up healthy options among the treats and plan games to keep everyone active. Make sure the party area is well-lit and without hazards (things that could cause a fall, start a fire, or cause harm to small children and pets).
Above all, have a fun and safe Halloween with your friends and family with these safety tips from Camp Live Oak!