Tricks to having a Safer Halloween

Tricks to having a Safer Halloween

Tricks to Having a Safer Halloween

I’ll be the first to admit it, yes the pun in the title was awful, but hey, it got you here didn’t it?

Many people consider fall to be their favorite season, and who’s to blame them? Fall brings all sorts of great things with it: bonfires with friends, colorful and crunchy leaves everywhere, the heart of the NFL season, comfy sweaters galore, and Halloween! Who doesn’t love Halloween (your antisocial neighbors don’t count)? Costumes, candy, scary stories — it’s all fun stuff right? Well, not for everyone. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, 77% of parents were “fearful” of their kids health on Halloween. We’ve all heard crazy stories of razors in apples and poisoned candy, but is Halloween actually dangerous?

In short, yes Halloween is one of the most dangerous days of the year, especially for children. Safe Kids Worldwide reported that children are more than twice as likely to be fatally hit by a car on Halloween, and the National Fire Protection Association reported that between 2009 and 2013, Halloween decorations caused 860 home fires on average.

In this blog we’ll be briefly covering some tips to keep you, you children, and your property safe during Halloween!

On Halloween night, thousands of children walk around neighborhoods in search of candy. Kids travelling around in groups can (as we all know) sometimes lead to mischief, which can lead to falling, being left alone, and in the worst case being hit by a car. Let’s go over a few quick and easy ways you can decrease your child’s risk of injury.


  • Be sure your child’s costume is brightly colored and has some sort of reflective surface on it. Reflective tape and stickers are a great alternative!
  • Make sure all dresses/hanging objects do not reach the floor. Children will trip, get tangled, and their costumes may even end up in flames!
  • If wearing a mask, make sure your child can see through the eye-holes, and that the mask is firmly gripping their face.
  • Test makeup and face paint the day before to avoid allergic reactions.
  • Swords, scythes, poles, etc. should not be sharp or too long. A child falling onto a mildly long dull object can lead to severe injury.
  • Shop specifically for flame-resistant costumes and props if possible!

Night of:

  • Do not let your child trick-or-treat unsupervised. A parent should always accompany a group of trick-or-treaters, especially if they are of a young age.
  • If you feel that your child is old enough and is with enough friends to travel without an adult, be sure that they have a cell phone and they know to dial 911 in an emergency.
  • Give your child a flashlight! Some streets may not be well lit, and having a flashlight can help cars see your child, and help your child see things that they may stumble upon!
  • If your child is trick-or-treating without you, have a planned return time (9:30pm is traditionally when trick-or-treating ends).

Health Tips:

  • Go through all the candy that your child brings home and search for tampered, opened, or expired candy. If your child has an allergy, search for candy with that ingredient.
  • On the night of Halloween, give your child a hearty serving of their favorite food for dinner, that way they will fill up on food and be less prone to overeating candy.
  • Make sure you child brushes their teeth extra in the days after Halloween to get all that extra sugar off their teeth. This will prevent cavities.
  • Put a limit on how much candy your child can consume in a day. High candy consumption can lead to a loss of appetite, and a very annoying sugar rush.

Pumpkin Carving:

  • Do not give a young child a knife! Instead let the kids draw their designs with a marker, and you do the cutting!
  • Do not let your child light their own pumpkin! Once the Jack-O-Lantern is lit, do not let the child hold it, it may fall and burn your child.
  • Place the lantern in a place where it will not fall or light anything on fire (curtains, tablecloths, clothing, hair, etc.).

As previously mentioned, an average of 860 homes are set on fire each year on Halloween night due to Jack-O-Lanterns, candles, fireworks, etc. Here are a few tips to not burn your house down:

Home Fire Safety

  • Keep all candles, heaters, and light bulbs far away from curtains and other flammable decorations.
  • Consider using electric candles in Jack-O-Lanterns instead of real candles.
  • Blow out all candles when you go to bed!
  • Make sure all of your smoke alarms are working.

Typically the cooler the toy, the larger the safety manual. (speaking of toys and fire, if you haven’t seen Tickle-me-Elmo on fire, you should probably do that). Applying that logic to holidays, Halloween must be one of the greatest holidays (does that make labor day a lame holiday?)! Let’s talk about some of the things that make Halloween such a great day!

It’s a huge boost to the economy:

Americans will spend around $9 billion on Halloween merchandise this year, that’s up from $3 billion in 2005, according to the National Retail Federation. The economic burst of Halloween is the spur behind the largest retail spending season in the country: Thanksgiving and Christmas. What’s not to enjoy about Americans going out and spending money on each other just for the sake of fun?

The candy sale afterwards:

Unless you’re a complete weirdo, you like some type of candy. Gotta love those price drops on candy right after Halloween! Stock up and supply yourself with a year’s worth of candy for a fraction of the price!

You get to meet all your neighbors again:

Be honest. Seeing your neighbors when you’re out trick-or-treating with your kid is one of the very few times you see them. It’s usually a bit more of a friendly environment than when you’re taking out the trash at night and they’re sitting on their back porch, am I right? This is your chance to finally start a new, healthy relationship with them (that’s what you said last year too).

You Create Happiness

Think about it, there was nothing better as a kid than coming home with a bag full of candy on Halloween night. By giving candy to kids, you’re creating a memorable experience and giving each kid something to be happy about! A price tag can’t be put on happiness, so it must be worth more than a few bucks of candy.

What do you find fun about Halloween? Drop a comment below!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

Puppers in Battle: A Dog Blog

Puppers in Battle: A Dog Blog

Puppers, yappers, floofers, puggos, corgos, shoobs, doge doggos, woofers — can you guess what this post is going to be about? Buckle-up for a fact-filled, informative, and fluffy overview of the roles of dogs and other animals in the US Armed Forces!

Dogs and other animals play a central role in the daily operations of the United States military and the VA. Dogs have served in different roles in every major US war, from the Revolutionary War to the War in Afghanistan, to the present.

Information on war-trained dogs is not readily available before World War Two, because until that time dogs were not officially recognized and trained for the military. There are, however, a few stories of heroic (and some silly) dogs that shaped early America!

First is a silly dog: The American victory at the Battle of Germantown was pivotal in the Revolutionary War, and partly won due to one boneheaded dog. The Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, General William Howe, lost track of his dog in the thick fog of the battle. The American Continental Army found the dog, and returned it to General Howe under a flag of truce: thus giving the Americans strategic information on the positions of the British troops! Silly pup!

Fun fact: After the Revolutionary War George Washington got into breeding dogs. In an attempt to make the ideal fox-hunting dog (he loved fox hunting) he created the  American Foxhound!

Next, a heroic dog: At the beginning of the Civil War, 1861 to be exact, the men of the Niagara Volunteer Fire Company in Pittsburgh, PA responded to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers to join the fighting. That Fire Company, along with their dog Jack, joined the 102nd Pennsylvania Volunteers Regiment, Washington Infantry. Jack served in most of the regiments’ battles; he was captured twice by the confederate army, understood bugle calls, and was known to search battlefields after the battles in search of wounded comrades. What a brave and loyal pooch!

As previously mentioned, since World War Two dogs have played an official and essential role in the US Armed Forces. Dogs’ astute senses of smell and hearing, along with their speed, power, and agility make them extremely useful for a whole host of jobs throughout the military. There are approximately 2,500 dogs in the service, and they have a range of tasks. Below is a very brief list of specializations that dogs take on (see here for a full list):

Sentry dogs: Dogs kept on a very short leash that are trained to alert soldiers when strangers or unusual activity is nearby. Very useful at night and in uncharted territory.

Patrol Dogs: Dogs trained to patrol an area or perimeter in order to intercept or alert soldiers of enemies or suspicious behavior. Dogs are able to detect enemies up to 1000 yards away! That’s 10 football fields!

Messenger Dogs: Trained to send mail/messages from point A to point B. Very useful in situations where electronic devices cannot/should not be used.

Tunnel Dogs: Dogs that explore enemy or unexplored tunnels. With their superior sense of smell, these dogs can locate enemies/bombs/etc. much faster and more efficiently than humans.

Narcotics Detector Dogs: Maybe you remember these coming through your high school checking lockers for drugs! These dogs can sniff out dangerous chemical substances with very high accuracy.

Devil Dogs: Nickname for a US Marine. Not an actual dog.

What breeds of dogs are used by the military?

Although German Shepherds are the most common dog used by the military, Labrador Retrievers and Belgian Malinois are also common. These dogs are intelligent, loyal, strong, and fast — all great qualities to have on the battlefield.

Wouldn’t we all love to see a chihuahua infiltrating an enemy base through a small crevice? Or a dachshund crawling into a narrow space to grab some important enemy intel?

What happens to the dogs after they’ve served?

Before 2000, most dogs were euthanized or abandoned after their service was finished, as many thought they were “not fit for civilian life.” Fortunately in 2000, “Robby’s Law” was passed, which allows dog handlers, law enforcement officials, and regular civilians to adopt the dogs. These dogs have been known to be some of the most loyal and loving dogs around (and great guard dogs)!

Do dogs have other roles in the US government?

They sure do! In addition to dogs’ superhuman sense of smell comes a superhuman sense of love! Dogs don’t discriminate based on any basis: age, race, religion, etc., they simply love on anyone who gives them attention!

The National Education for Assistance Dog Services and Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans (NEADS) is a non-profit organization that trains and provides smart pups to disabled Americans, many of whom are veterans!

Veterans Moving Forward is another organization that raises and provides service dogs to veterans: free of cost! They also frequently bring dogs to VA hospitals and centers to visit the veterans! Who doesn’t like petting a cute pupper?

Dogs clearly have had and will continue to have a large role in the everyday operations of the US Government and military. We’ve seen that dogs provide a tactful advantage to soldiers on a battlefield, and the power of their unconditional love and playfulness can bring to people.

With that said, what dogs have affected you in your life? If you get a chance, go thank that dog and cuddle up with him/her for always being there for you! Below are some of the dogs we at EGA Associates hang out with!