Spooky decorations, creepy costumes and candy-filled visions spur kids – and often the entire family – into a fun-filled frenzy on Halloween. But don’t let hidden dangers spoil the evening for your ghouls and booys!
Here are 10 simple Halloween safety tips to help keep fright night from becoming a real scare.
10. Fill ‘em up first: Send trick-or-treaters off with a full tummy so they won’t be as tempted to eat candy before it’s inspected.
9. Have a Trick-or-Treating plan: Accompany young children at all times and send older kids out in a group with strict route guidelines and curfews – and a charged cel phone for emergencies. Don’t forget flashlights or glow sticks for everyone, both to see and be seen.
8. Remember safety basics: Emphasize to kids that Halloween night is no different when it comes to safety. Avoid strangers and dark houses, stay on well-lighted streets on a pre-approved route, and take extra care when crossing streets.
7. Decorate with the littlest ghouls in mind: Make yard decorations safe and inviting to all. Secure electrical cords and strings out of reach, use glow sticks or battery-operated candles as light sources instead of real candles, and make walkways clear and accessible. If creating a particularly scary haunted yard, consider including a less-scary approach for younger trick-or-treaters (unless, of course, you want a bunch of leftover candy). When handing out candy, include toddler-friendly goodies like single-serving cookie or animal cracker packs in the candy bowl – parents will thank you!
6. Costume for comfort and safety: Dress kids in costumes that are temperature-appropriate, allow free range of vision and movement, and are easily seen in the dark. Accessories like swords, knives and fairy wands should be safely blunted or flexible to prevent injury. Do costumes call for a spooky glow? Flameless battery-operated wax candles create ghoulish candle-lit effect and are safe to carry.
5. Carve a safer Jack o’Lantern: Let little ones scoop the insides of the pumpkin and draw the face – always the best designs – but leave the carving to adults or older kids. Create a safer spooky light using glow sticks in two or three colors or battery-operated candles.
4. Check all candy before eating: Inspect candy before allowing kids to eat. Discard candy with broken wrappers, packaging that can be opened and resealed, or that appears tampered with in any way.
3. Keep pets inside all night: It’s safer and less stressful for pets, pet owners and visitors.
2. Prepare for unexpected scares: Assemble a portable first aid kit to treat minor scrapes, burns or cuts, and include medications for asthma or allergies.
1. Have a get-home plan: Whether trick-or-treating, attending a party, or stopping by the neighborhood carnival, have a plan that works for everyone in case of separation. Identify a location to go if separated from the group, and attach parents’ names, address and phone numbers to younger kids’ clothing.