Trick or Treat Safety
Halloween is tomorrow, so I scared up some tips for a safe Halloween for you and your little goblins.
Halloween is supposed to be a fun event, but there are many dangers associated with the candy grabbing holiday. You may already have your child’s Halloween plans in place for trick or treating, but, how safe are they? Here are a few ideas on how you can make your haunt a little less scary.
It’s a good idea to be mindful of where decorations are placed. I have some gourds and pumpkins on my front steps that will need to be moved before trick or treating time. The Electrical Safety Foundation says if you have decorations in the basement that you drag out one night per year, make sure there aren’t any frayed wires before you plug them in. Also, make sure outlets aren’t overloaded and there aren’t any wires or anything that could trip the kids.
Speaking of decorations, pumpkin carving is a great, fun, family activity that allows the creative juices to get flowing, but it can be very dangerous for little ones. Consumer Reports has some great carving tips like carve first and then cut the top off and also which tools to use. My dad used to give my sister and I washable markers and let us draw the silly faces, but then we left the cutting and carving part up to Mom and Dad. If they want to, let the kids scoop out the guts. Sure they’re slimy, but part of the fun is pretending what they could be. Eyeballs and brains, perhaps? Just make sure you have plenty of newspaper on hand.
Leaving candles out in the open on your steps or even inside pumpkins can pose a risk. The National Fire Protection Agency says that Halloween is one of the top five days for candle fires. I have a battery operated LED pillar candle that fits perfectly inside my pumpkin. It still flickers and glows like a normal candle does, but it’s way safer around the little witches and vampires that grace my front steps on Halloween night. If you insist on using real candles, make sure they’re kept away from drapes or anything that could catch fire. Also, make sure any store bought costumes, wigs and masks are flame retardant. It should clearly state that on the label. If you can’t find any label saying that it’s flame retardant, leave it on the shelf.
As important as it is to pay attention to pedestrians when you’re driving, it’s also super important as an adult to make sure kids pay attention to cars when they’re walking. Safe Kids Worldwide states that on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween as on any other day of the year. They urge parents to have everyone in the group carry a glow stick or a flashlight. If you’re going to be staying home and doling out the goodies, before trick or treat time, make sure your yard is safe. Put away any tripping hazards such as lawn ornaments, garden hoses, electrical cords and bikes. Make sure your outside lights are bright enough to see. If they’re dim or burned out, replace them before dark.
If you have a particularly large or easily excitable dog that may scare kids away or a curious cat that may run out the door, make sure they’re in a safe location. Also, keep candy away from dogs and cats. Especially chocolate. Chocolate is deadly for pets.