Practical Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween

It's the season of tricks and treats. While Halloween offers a lot of fun playing pretend, it can also bring genuine danger, as youngsters dash across dark streets with their minds more on sweets than safety. 


Unfortunately, a real-life scary fact is that children are twice as prone to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween than on any other night of the year. When it comes to pumpkin carving and lighting cuts and burns are also frequent along with stomach aches from over-indulging in candy. 


But Halloween can be as safe and enjoyable as we make it! 


Here are some practical tips to keep in mind: 


Carving Safety


  • Instead of allowing your kids to use carving supplies. let them draw with markers, glitter glue or paint and leave any cutting to a grown-up. 
  • Use candles with caution. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended or near anything flammable. This can be easy to forget in the excitement of the evening. So better yet, light up pumpkins with battery operated candles which are obviously safer and reusable which could save you money and help the environment at the same time. 


Costume Safety


  • Depending on what your child wants to dress up as for Halloween it might be difficult to keep their costume bright and easy to see in the dark. Using reflective tape can help with this and you can put it in places like on their trick-or-treating bag to ensure your child can be seen. 
  • The last thing you want is your child to trip on their costume and get hurt and embarrassed on Halloween eve OR for one of their ghost or goblin friends to step on it and cause it to rip. Make sure your child’s costume fits them properly and is loose enough to allow warm clothing to be worn underneath it. It has been known to snow in October in Central New York! 
  • As masks can obscure your child’s vision, consider using non-toxic kid-friendly makeup instead.  Also try to limit accessories such as props that are pointy such as knives, wands and swords to avoid any potential safety threats. 


Trick-or-Treat with Caution 


  • Be sure to set rules before the commotion of the evening takes over. Rules like a curfew, staying with a group, having your child carry a cellphone if you aren’t going to be with him or her, and staying on the sidewalks. 
  • Make sure to inspect all of the treats before anything is eaten. When in doubt…throw it out! You can curb your chid’s temptation to eat candy by having dinner beforehand. To avoid overindulgence on candy after everything is checked, ration the candy out over a period of time. 


Staying Safe on the Homefront


  • Don’t take any chances with your pets, put them in an area of the house where they won’t be able to run out an open door. 
  • Clean up the yard to make sure there aren’t any unnecessary accidents.  Put away hoses, bikes, toys, etc. 
  • Consider handing out something besides candy! Or supplement a small amount of candy with stickers, cool pencils, chalk, rubber insects, etc. 


Drive with Extra Care on Halloween 


  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are generally between 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during these hours.
  • Stay off your phone when you’re behind the wheel! (This goes for all time not just Halloween.) 
  • Drive slower than normal in residential neighborhoods. 
  • Make sure your headlights are on even before dark to ensure your car is seen by pedestrians. 
  • Take extra time at intersections watching out for any stragglers. 


Have fun! 

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