Have a safe Halloween while still enjoying the festivities. Take a few simple precautions to safeguard the celebrants and create memories of fun unmarred by injury!
1) Accompany the children! The presence of a parent or guardian can deter bullies and predators. An adult can rein in horseplay that gets out of hand and monitor safety.
2) Use face paint rather than a mask. Masks can obstruct vision and allow a child to step into unseen danger.
3) Provide reflective material on the costume to alert drivers to the child’s presence.
4) Give each child a flashlight to illuminate steps as well as increase visibility to drivers. As an added bonus, the child can shine the light up from under his or her chin to create a spooky sight.
5) Make sure the costume doesn’t pose a tripping hazard to the child. Hem up too-long garments and make sure all fastenings are secure.
6) Dress the child in a light colored costume to increase visibility. Dark outfits tend to get lost in shadows and poor light.
7) Provide manageable bags for treats. Two smaller ones are better than one oversized one which can tangle in the child’s legs and cause a fall. The accompanying parent can carry the second bag until it’s needed.
8) Have a “Nothing eaten until you get home” rule. The delay gives you a chance to check over the treats for potential hazards such as adulteration or unsafe small pieces on toys and avoid sugar overload.
9) Don’t drive on Halloween if you can avoid it. With little goblins running around, less vehicular traffic means an increased margin of safety.
10) Choose neutral treats to distribute or have neutral alternatives available. Many children experience allergies to nuts or other ingredients in candy. Be considerate.
1) Candles and luminaria are beautiful, but can put children in danger of burns. Choose safer methods of illumination.
2) Party games can get quite active. Watch for tripping hazards in flowing costumes. Have a ball of twine handy to create a makeshift belt and gather costumes up away from running feet.
3) Plan a safe menu – label foods containing potential allergens so that little goblins don’t accidentally gobble the wrong thing.
4) Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot to reduce the chance of food poisoning.
5) Limit the amount of sweets available to children at the party. Fruits and veggies in bite-sized pieces will provide healthy yet delicious treats and avoid sugar overload.
6) Keep your pets out of harm’s way. The crowd, excitement and unfamiliar costumes can lead to potentially dangerous situations for even the most trusted pet. Halloween treats can harm the pet’s digestive system. Protect pets and people by giving Rover or Tabby a quiet room and a treat until the party disperses.
7) Use safe games. Have children draw jack-o-lanterns with markers or paints rather than carving them; use magnetic darts rather than traditional sharply pointed ones. If a spooky piñata is part of your party, make sure everyone is well clear of the target area and watch the child “at bat” carefully to avoid accidents.
8) Provide some sort of bag or container for attendees to carry home their loot. An inexpensive reusable shopping bag can be an art project during the party as well as a convenience afterwards.
9) Remove breakables before the party begins. That antique vase or heirloom lace tablecloth will be safer stored away during the party. Accidents can happen, no matter how careful children try to be.
10) Keep a close eye on children around water – that includes washtubs used to bob for apples. A toddler can drown in the amount of water in a washtub.
U.S. General Services Administration: Five Tips to Make Your Halloween Safe – http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/press/halloween09.htm
Healthy Pet: A Safe Halloween – http://www.healthypet.com/petcare/PetCareArticle.aspx?art_key=4682b2e2-8ff3-4811-85f3-d0b9edca18b6