Halloween Safety Tips: Stay Safe No Matter What Your Holiday Plans Are
Trick-or-treating, parties and creative costumes are the essence of Halloween, but just like anything else, there are risks that can ruin a good time. Know how to keep your kids, teens, pets and home safe so that those spooky decorations remain the scariest part of your holiday.
Halloween Safety Tips:
Trick or Treating
- You have put the finishing touches on your child’s costume, armed them with a bag for candy and told them to thank each homeowner for the goodies. Don’t forget, however, that trick or treat safety needs to be priority number one when trick-or-treating. If you’re joining your children, plan ahead to find a route that is walkable for youngsters. Since most trick-or-treat hours are at dusk or at night, staying visible and having a lit walkway is important. Have your child walk with a lit flashlight and try to stay in areas where streetlights and porch lights are illuminated to avoid tripping. If possible, attach small reflectors to your child’s costume so they are more obvious to drivers.
- Letting older kids go trick-or-treating alone is a delicate balance; you want to ensure your children’s safety but also give them a chance to test their responsibility. Your best bet is to make sure they know where they are (and aren’t) allowed to go and what time they are expected back. Identify a few familiar streets or neighborhoods they can use, then let them choose their own path and pace. They will feel empowered to make decisions, and you’ll be able to relax at home or off with the younger kids. Technology can help you as well; tracker app can help you locate children or parents using GPS. It allows you to check in occasionally without watching their every move.
- Speaking of costumes, loose fabrics, stray ribbons and draping hems are just asking to be tripped on. Pin or clip back hanging fabric for an easy fix. On the other hand, hand-me-down costumes are a great way to save money, but be sure they aren’t too tight on the child. Very young children, especially, could spend hours in an uncomfortable outfit without any way of telling Mom and Dad. When it comes to bringing a costume to life, fake swords and wands are great additions to any pirate or fairy costume, but make sure any accessories you buy are soft. Anything sharp or hard could easily injure someone if dropped or when playing.
- Police will be out in force looking for Halloween hell raisers, so both you and your children should avoid wearing or carrying accessories that look too much like real weapons. Though they are harmless, they could cause unintended uneasiness with fellow revelers and problems with law enforcement. Play it safe, and choose more cartoonish-looking accessories.
- After a long night of trick or treating, check candy before your child dives in. Instruct children not to eat anything until you’ve had a chance to inspect it. If anything isn’t in a wrapper or looks like it has been rewrapped, toss it. While many a perfectly innocent bag of M&Ms has busted open, it’s not worth the risk of eating tainted candy.
- Of course, limit the amount of sugar consumed in one night to avoid sugar rushes in late hours. You don’t have to just trash the confiscated candy. Check to see if any local organizations or dentist offices are doing a candy return for cash, or consider donating sweets to charity if you don’t want kids consuming it all.
Halloween parties for adults and teens are a fun way to celebrate with friends, but its important to make sure that both your own party and any your children may attend are safe.
The Halloween party rules to teach your children are similar to basic party rules.
- Never leave a drink unattended, and get a new one if you haven’t been watching your own; similarly, never accept a drink from someone you don’t know.
- Food coloring and decorations can mask the ingredients in ghoulish treats, so ask the host what’s safe if you have any food allergies.
- Make sure you have a cellphone and transportation to and from a get-together. It’s best to travel in packs so everyone watches out for each other. If a friend is the last to be picked up, wait with them to make sure they get home safe.
When you’re throwing a party yourself, a little planning can pay dividends. Are younger children attending your party? Plan several activities that burn off sugar, and offer non-sweet food and beverages to avoid a herd of hyper (or sugar-sickened) kids. Whether the attendees are adults or children, put breakables, or anything else you wouldn’t want ruined, out of reach. Drinks, dancing and little hands can all lead to unintended tumbles.
- Sure, a toilet-paper covered house is annoying to clean up, but it doesn’t compare to being hit by more serious vandals looking to destroy property. Use common sense when leaving for the evening, and lock all windows and doors. If you have a security system, make sure it is armed. If you have a feisty neighborhood, you can take it a step further and tape mailbox slots shut so nothing unwanted gets slipped through. Be proactive and park your car in the garage or behind your home if you can, and remove decorations and furniture from your porch.
- If you will be spending Halloween at home, keep potential burglars at bay by not letting trick-or-treaters in your home, and pass out candy on the porch if you have valuables in plain sight of the front door. Curb vandalism by being courteous and friendly to those who come to your house, which won’t provoke those looking for a target. Use motion-sensor lights after trick-or-treat times are finished to spook away any trespassers who may circle back.
- Don’t forget about the safety of your pets this Halloween. While Fido and Fluffy look adorable in their costumes, letting them run around unattended could be disastrous. Pets not used to clothes can easily choke, become tangled or have their vision blocked. Decorations and candy can also be a danger and should be kept out of reach of your four-legged friend. Balloons, certain food ingredients and candle wax can be harmful or even deadly.
- It’s best to leave pets indoors during Halloween, as animals can be targets of abuse; black cats attracting special attention. Some pets can spook easily, while others can turn aggressive when frightened, so it’s best to keep them well away from anyone with bad intentions. For this reason, it’s also best to leave pets at home when trick-or-treating. Put identification tags on all pets, and check fences are secure to avoid escapes.
As always, it’s best to use common sense when preparing for Halloween festivities. Your best judgment, along with the above tips, will help keep your family safe.
- How do you keep your kids, home, pets and yourself safe during Halloween?
- What are your best tips for Halloween safety?
Read More Halloween Blogs & Guides
° How To Throw A Theme Or Costume Party
° Trick-or-Treating, scary stories and the Jersey Devil: Why you’ll love Halloween camping
° Trunk-or-Treat, Halloween Carnivals and other Trick-or-Treating Alternatives
° Swaps, Crafts and Sales: What to Do with Old Pet Costumes