Ghosts, witches and black cats will hopefully be the only scary things that cross your path on All Hallow’s Eve. Be prepared and learn about what you and your family should be on the lookout for, so that you don’t end up with tummy aches from too much candy consumption or having to deal with any serious emergencies.
As your neighborhood turns into a spectacle of frightful delights, remember to follow these safety tips for a memorable – and safe – Halloween.
Pumpkin carving safety
- If you want to skip using knives or carving tools altogether, choose an alternate way to decorate pumpkins. Use glitter, paint, markers or any other craft supplies that don’t require cutting to create a fun and festive Halloween pumpkin.
- If you do decide to carve a jack-o-lantern, let your children draw the faces, but leave the carving to the adults.
- Another good rule of thumb with jack-o-lanterns is to use a flashlight or battery operated candles instead of real candles – especially when young children are helping.
- Children 12 and under should be accompanied by an adult. Older children should go in groups. Make sure if you and your child get separated, they know their address and phone number so they can get home safely. You may even pin a piece of paper with that information on it to their costume or inside their pocket.
- At least one person in the group should carry a flashlight with new batteries.
- If your child is going to be trick-or-treating without you, make sure they are staying close to home and not in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
- Set ground rules with your child and make sure they know to stay with the group, stay on the sidewalk and be home by a certain time.
- Choose bright colors and use reflective tape if your child will be trick-or-treating after dark.
- Make sure the costume is made out of flame-retardant materials.
- Masks can sometimes obstruct one’s vision, so go with face paint or make-up instead.
- Don’t let your child carry props like swords, knives or anything pointed as they can be a safety hazard to themselves or others.
- Before letting your children eat any of their treats, carefully inspect each piece of candy. If anything appears to be torn, partially open or tampered with, throw it away. Local hospitals, medical centers and sheriff’s offices will sometimes x-ray your child’s candy for free. Check to see if you can take advantage of these services in your area before indulging in your sugar stash.
- Consider handing out healthy alternatives or pass on the sugar altogether. Instead, give out granola bars or something like pencils, colored chalk or other fun party favors that won’t rot their teeth.
Make your house safe for trick-or-treaters
- Turn porch lights on and keep your driveway well lit. This lets people know you are handing out candy and to stop by your house.
- Clear your driveway and the path to your house of anything people might trip over like branches, hoses, bikes, etc.
- Keep your pets locked up – or at least away from the front door if you’re worried they might become scared when people they don’t recognize come to your door.
- If you have a home security system, disable your entryway contacts so you won’t risk setting off a false alarm every time you open the door for trick-or-treaters