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!
- 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).
- 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.
- 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!