For many people of all ages, Halloween is simply one of the best nights of the year. From excited ghouls and goblins knocking on delightfully decorated doors to the candy that comes home at the end of the night, it’s always a night of fun, adventure and tasty treats.
To make sure that the only scary parts of Halloween are the decorations and costumes, follow these tips to ensure your child has a safe and fun night of trick-or-treating:
Halloween Safety Tips for Trick-Or-Treaters
Make Sure Your Child Can See and Walk Properly
If your child’s costume includes any sort of accessory on their head, you’ll want to ensure it doesn’t impact their vision. The safest accessory is face paint, but for some costumes that just won’t work.
If their costume does include a mask, do a test before Halloween night to see if it affects their vision. A mask should never cover their eyes or affect their ability to see in the dark. Make sure your trick-or-treater can see in all directions, especially side to side to check for cars and down at their feet to prevent a fall. If their vision is impacted in any way, you may need to get a different sized mask, reposition it or make the eye holes larger.
The last thing you want is to see your child hurt themselves because of their own costume! Double check that their costume won’t drag near their feet and that they can walk properly if any special footwear is part of their outfit.
Make Sure Cars Can See Your Child
Just because the streets are filled with trick-or-treaters doesn’t mean that there aren’t still cars about! If possible, try to choose a Halloween costume that incorporates lighter colours so your child doesn’t blend into the darkness.
Regardless of the colours of a child’s costume, reflective tape is an excellent way to help drivers see your child. Encourage your child to wear a reflective bracelet or add some reflective tape to their costume.
Finally, bringing a light is another great way to ensure safety and visibility while walking around the neighbourhood. A simple flashlight will do the trick, but it’s probably easier for your child to use a light they can wear around their arm or neck. For some Halloween fun and colour, why not try a glow stick?
Watch Where You Walk and Cross
Don’t get too distracted by all of the spooktacular costumes and decorations! Make sure that you and your child keep an eye out for tripping hazards, especially at houses that have more elaborate setups.
Remind your child that the regular rules of road safety still apply on Halloween night. In fact, they’re more important than ever because of the darkness and other distractions that trick-or-treating can bring.
Before heading out for the night, have a discussion about walking instead of running, looking both ways before they cross the street and trick-or-treating on one side of the street before going to the other side instead of zig zagging back and forth.
Inspect Candy Before Eating It
A parent should always be involved in this step but make sure to teach your child what to look for as well. Take a look at the candy your child has collected; does anything appear to have been opened or tampered with? Are there any strange brands, names or ingredients you don’t recognize? If so, it’s best to be safe and dispose of the questionable candy.
If your child has any food allergies, especially life-threatening ones, it’s critical that you inspect their candy before they eat it. Be sure they know the signs that a food isn’t safe for them, especially if the allergen can be listed under different names.
Will Your Child Be Trick-or-Treating Without a Parent?
Trick-or-treating without parental supervision can be an exciting right of passage! Before your independent trick-or-treater heads out for the night, take the time to go over the usual safety rules, especially road safety, always staying in a group and never going into the house of someone they don’t know.
If your child doesn’t have a cell phone, you may want to send them with your own or ensure a friend is carrying one. Review their planned route for the night, the time they need to be home by and what to do in case of a problem.
Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners
You may not be heading out into the streets yourself, but you’ll want to make sure the wizards and warlocks knocking on your door stay safe and sound. Here’s what you can do as a homeowner to prevent accidents or problems on your property:
Jack O’Lantern Safety
There’s no Halloween decoration more classic than carving a pumpkin and putting a candle inside. Consider swapping out a real candle for a battery-powered one to prevent the candle being knocked over or part of someone’s costume catching the flame. You can also put your pumpkin in a location where it’s out of reach like a window ledge.
Keep Walkways Clear and Well Lit
Halloween may call for dark and spooky, but if trick-or-treaters can’t see where they’re walking then you’re just asking for a fall on your property.
Replace outside lightbulbs if they’ve burnt out and ensure your outdoor set up has adequate lighting. You’ll also want to keep decorations off the ground where people will be walking.
Good lighting and clear walkways are important for preventing falls, but can also be very helpful for trick-or-treaters and their families who may use mobility devices or have vision challenges in low light.
Happy Halloween from Cayuga Mutual! Stay safe, have fun and don’t eat too much candy!