Celebrating Halloween can be fun for the entire family! No doubt you will see and maybe do things that (fortunately) you will not see or do other times of the year. To ensure it remains fun for everyone, here are some safety suggestions.
First, pre-plan for both your house and your kids. Costumes that are bright and reflective reduce the risk of drivers not seeing ‘halloweeners.’ Use non-toxic, hypoallergenic makeup in place of full-faced masks to prevent vision and breathing problems. Wigs and costumes should be flame-retardant.
Outdoor decorations can be really cool, but remember you will have children running across your yard. If you are to be visited by extra-terrestials, goblins, monsters, royalty and superheroes, remember these children cannot actually fly. Keep your decorations lit or in non-pedestrian areas (such as front lawns and culverts) to reduce potential lawsuits and injuries. Other items usually not seen are flower pots, garden hoses, low tree limbs or roots, and other house and yard items.
Find costume accessories that are flexible and soft. Knives, sticks, swords, and guns – even play ones – can pose hazards if your child falls on them or gets in some neighborhoods or business areas if the weapon looks real.
For the main event, have a route or location already established. Have the right batteries for flashlights. Feed your children a good meal prior to going out to reduce the sugar-meal-syndrome when returning with all of their goodies.
Keep your pets indoors, if possible. They can scare the daylights out of ‘weeners and make your pet more aggressive as it believes it is under attack by strange beings. Keeping your pet indoors also reduces the risk of the pet being injured by someone.
And finally, the basic list: warn your children about entering people’s homes or vehicles; do not let your kids use bicycles, rollerblades, or skateboards; don’t let younger children go alone and, if possible, go in ‘herds’ or groups. That works well for the kids and the homeowners; don’t let your children eat anything that is not properly wrapped; only go to homes that have the outside or porch light on.
Halloween can be fun. Keeping it safe for adults, children, and pets will provide a positive experience for everyone!