Skeletons, spiderwebs, and Jack-o’-lanterns galore are popping up all over our neighborhoods, and that can only mean one thing: Halloween is just around the corner. If your preparations so far have involved stocking up on candy and choosing the perfect costume for yourself or your children, you’re on the right track.
Getting in the Halloween spirit is great, but decking out your yard with spooky decor and buying sweets for trick-or-treaters isn’t the only thing you should be doing to get ready for the holiday ahead. Ghouls and goblins might be nothing more than fun, fictional frights, but there are some real dangers to watch out for on Halloween night.
Thankfully, by following a few simple safety tricks, you can help make this Halloween a fun and safe treat for everyone.
1. If you’re a homeowner expecting trick-or-treaters, make sure you:
- Keep your home, yard, and sidewalks brightly lit (and shoveled if applicable)
- Clear debris and obstacles from your yard, steps, and walkways
- Keep pets kenneled
- Park your car in the garage
- Use LED candles instead of real candles inside Jack-o’-lanterns
- Tone down extra-scary decor
- Keep a close eye on your front door
2. If you’re a parent with children who plan to trick-or-treat, make sure you:
- Always accompany young children to each house they visit
- Visit neighborhoods with sidewalks to avoid walking in the street
- Always use crosswalks and look both ways before crossing the street
- Add reflective tape to your child’s costume
- Keep masks at home, as they can obstruct your child’s vision
- Have your child carry a flashlight
- Establish a curfew for older children venturing out on their own
- Remind older, unsupervised children to call 911 in case of emergency
- Tell unaccompanied children to never enter a stranger’s home
3. If you’re going to be driving on Halloween night, make sure you:
- Stay alert and watch for children in the street
- Eliminate any distractions within your vehicle
- Drive slowly
- Be especially cautious at intersections and corners
- Be mindful when pulling in or out of driveways
With Halloween holding such a high risk of accidents involving child pedestrians, following these safety tips will be essential. Still, even after your children have made it home with their Halloween haul, there is one more important safety concern you’ll need to address: their candy.
4. Check candy for the following red flags before letting your trick-or-treaters dig into their treats:
- An unusual or discolored appearance
- Spoiled or unwrapped items
- Tears or holes in wrappers
In addition to following these tips, you should also be wary of homemade items or baked goods. If you don’t personally know who made them, these should be discarded. As a general rule for any treat: When in doubt, throw it out.
Parents should also be mindful of treats that could pose a choking hazard. Hard candies, gum, peanuts, and small toys should only be given to older children. If you have any additional questions regarding tainted or unsafe candy, you can contact Poison Control or your local police department.
Along with the tips above, this year we must do our part in protecting ourselves, our children, and our families amidst the pandemic.
5. Follow safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Trick-or-treating: Don’t go out if you feel ill, minimize contact with others, wear a costume that allows a facemask as well, and avoid touching doorbells or railings (call out “trick or treat” instead).
- Handing out candy: Don’t hand out candy if you’re feeling ill or isolating, wear a facemask, hand out treats from your driveway or front lawn, and make candy bags to space out on a table or blanket.
By following these tips, you and your trick-or-treaters will be all set to have a safe and happy holiday.
Fangs for reading and sharing this. Happy Halloween!