Knock knock. Who’s there? Three Disney princesses, a Spiderman, and Tom Brady. It’s either Halloween or a very strange dream…
We hope that in the midst of stocking your candy bowls and carving creepy pumpkins, you’ve also drafted a Halloween safety plan for the big night. If not, don’t worry – we’ve gathered some tips from the National Safety Council to help make October 31st a safe night.
Halloween Safety in the Yard
We love the houses that go “all out” for Halloween! Before you go setting out the Jack-o-Lanterns just yet, though, make sure you have a plan for decoration safety. This means installing tombstones out of tripping hazard’s way, keeping cobwebs and other fabrics away from light bulbs, and avoiding any open flames.
Always use decorations that have been approved for outdoor use, especially lights. If you are stringing lights together or plugging in mechanical decorations, never overload electrical outlets or nail through electrical wires, as this can create a significant fire hazard. Here’s more on holiday lighting safety.
Make sure your property is safe for little visitors to navigate. Start by clearing any stumps, tree roots, extension cords, etc. from primary walkways. Mark any holes or roots you can’t get rid of with orange cones. If your driveway is especially long or ill-lit, consider leaving candy closer to the sidewalk, where trick-or-treaters can see where they’re walking. And if you have a dog, consider crating Fido during the evening hours. Even friendly, well-mannered pups can get caught up in the excitement, posing a danger to themselves or the kids at your doorstep.
Halloween Safety on the Road
It almost goes without saying, but let’s all agree to remind our families anyway: keep an eye out for children in the street, especially those in dark clothing. Kids tend to travel in packs on Halloween, which means some groups spill off the sidewalk. Some kids will run into roads in order to catch up with their friends. Make a point to drive much slower than usual so you can adjust to nighttime pedestrians–especially in residential neighborhoods.
Exit every driveway cautiously, checking thoroughly to ensure there are no pedestrians around before you start driving. If you are a new or inexperienced driver it may be best to steer clear of driving completely on Halloween, and never drive after drinking.
Halloween Safety and Candy
Apart from the costumes, candy is everyone’s favorite Halloween tradition. But parents should provide kids with simple ground rules before they leave the house, even if an adult is supervising. First, never eat any Halloween candy before a parent has the chance to inspect it. Second, never eat anything that isn’t commercially packaged. That means no homemade baked goods, no candy apples, cake pops, etc. You may decide to make exceptions for specific neighbors, just be clear that your kids need to ask permission first. The FDA offers more detailed advice on Halloween food safety.
Bottom line: it’s always important to practice caution, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Happy trick-or-treating!