We can all agree that it’s been an interesting autumn with plenty of spookiness to go around, from hurricane fears to questionable clown sightings to contentious campaigns. The last thing we need is a Halloween that turns a fun-filled “fright night” into something truly to fear. So we tricked-and-treated up some safety tips to help you enjoy playful “Boos” and avoid any real boo-boos, or worse.
See and Be Seen
By Halloween, Daylight Savings will have changed back to earlier nightfall, so make sure your Trick-or- Treaters wear and/or carry something that ensures their visibility. Darth Vader is a great costume, but being The Dark Knight on a dark night may not be the safest choice. Cars and golf carts will be trolling the roads in addition to cute little goblins, and the likelihood of getting hit by a car goes way up on Halloween night, so make sure drivers and others can see you, and that your goblins can see them.
- Glow sticks and reflective tape can be sewn or taped into costumes.
- Carry flashlights, and add blinkie (find them in a bike or running store) lights to your child’s bag or costume.
- Use a reflective bag or glow-in-the-dark pumpkin basket to stash your candy haul.
- Also make sure your child can see out of their costume. Be particularly careful with masks; they can make seeing, breathing or asking for help dangerously difficult.
Be Picky, not Tricky
Halloween is a night to be super vigilant, both when you’re selecting treats to hand out to neighbors and when checking the candy your kids bring home. Pick over your child’s stash with care (bonus: you can snag a Twix for yourself!).
- Hand out treats that are individually wrapped. Avoid hard candy, which is a choking hazard.
- Be sensitive to food allergies. Avoid peanut and peanut butter-based treats. Nut-free goodies are the best choice on Halloween.
- “Healthy” treats may not be a kids’ first choice, but you can add small bags of pretzels, Goldfish or cereal bars to your stash to offer a less-sugary option. Stickers or other non-food goodies are another alternative, but hey, it’s Halloween. The kids want candy and in moderation, that’s ok!
Beware of the Great Pumpkin
Decorating one’s home and yard has become a favorite Halloween activity, but there are some safety considerations here, too. And that fake blood? It might seem like a haunting good time, but don’t go overboard – a particularly gruesome or spooky display can cause real distress in younger children (and some not-so young ones as well). Other ways to decorate with safety in mind:
- Turn your outdoor lights on and make sure paths/sidewalks are clear of debris and are well-lit.
- Keep your dog indoors and away from the door. Even friendly dogs can scare children or get spooked by costumed kids.
- Make sure your front steps aren’t cluttered, and there’s nothing young feet might trip over.
- Carve pumpkins with care! Don’t let young kids use sharp knives, and consider lighting your Jack-o-lantern with a flashlight instead of candles to prevent fire.
Above all, have fun! But if you do run into an unexpected boo-boo, Roper St. Francis Express Care facilities are open until 9 p.m. in locations near you. Just bring us some candy, please!