Safety tips for Halloween: keep it fun, not frightful


Halloween is beyond exciting for kids—they get to stay up late, dress up and gorge on candy. Halloween safety may be the last thing on their radar, or yours. After all, you're either out trick-or-treating, at home handing out candy, or hosting a spooky party. Is there really anything that scary to think about? Actual,ly there is. And it's not ghosts, goblins, ghouls, or things that go bump in the night. Even as adults, we need reminders on how to stay safe during Halloween. Here are some tips to keep this spooky holiday from becoming a scary one.



1. Plan out a route in advance


Your kids know not to stray into the road when they’re walking to school. But on Halloween, when kids are running amok all over the neighbourhood from house to house, it seems like all bets are off. It’s essential to make sure that your kids are still following basic safety rules, like staying on the sidewalks and looking both ways before crossing the street. On busier roads, be sure to use the crosswalk and make absolutely sure that any approaching drivers can see you. Be careful about sprinting across unfamiliar lawns, too; in the dark, it can be tricky to see decorations or other tripping hazards lurking in the yard. 

It's worth bearing in mind that trick-or-treating could take you several streets away from your house, which can cause a bit of frustration, not to mention sore legs. Mapping out a route before leaving the house will help you avoid long paths. Stick to the streets that you and your child are familiar with will help prevent losing your way.



2. Stay well-lit


No matter how cool your child’s costume may be, it shouldn’t forego safety. Select light-coloured costumes when possible. This makes it easier for drivers to spot trick-or-treaters. If the costume is dark in colour, apply reflective tape to your child’s costume to ensure they are seen by drivers on the road. A few strips on the back, front, and goodie bag should do the trick. If he or she is planning on biking or skateboarding, stick some tape on that as well. Also, carry a flashlight with you to keep your child’s path lit at all times.


3. Make Sure Your Doorway Is Safe for Trick-or-Treaters


Check for damage to your roof and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. Make sure that driveways and walkways are cleaned up and well maintained. Also lighting at transitions between the driveway and the walkway can prevent a potentially dangerous situation where someone might slip.


4. Pay Close Attention When Driving


Eliminate any distractions you might have and keep your eye on the road for any Halloween activity and trick-or-treaters. It’s recommended to drive below the speed limit in a residential area, especially during peak trick-or-treating hours, as there will be more children on the street. Make your vehicle more visible by ensuring that your lights are on, even during daylight. Having your lights on will also help you see children in dark-coloured costumes, which are difficult to see in the dark.


5. Be careful with candy (Ask about allergies)


It goes without saying that Halloween safety tips don’t just apply to your own children. If your neighbourhood has a lot of tiny tots, you might want to steer clear of candies like Everlasting Gobstoppers or Skittles, which could be a choking hazard. 

If you have a child under the age of three, make sure you check their candy bag and remove anything they could choke on, too. Don’t forget that not all kids can safely eat every type of candy. If you buy a variety pack of mini candy bars that includes Snickers, maybe skip the peanut-filled bars in your treat bowl. Hey, there’s an excuse to eat them yourself!


6. Fire hazards


Fire hazards abound on Halloween, as people use sandbag candles and fiery jack-o'-lanterns to decorate their homes and walkways.

Bonfires and fireworks are also a major part of the celebration. Stay a safe distance from bonfires and fireworks – wind can carry sparks long distances. Many costumes, wigs, masks and other accessories are made of flame-resistant materials. You'll know they are if they are labeled "flame resistant." That won't stop them from burning, but they will be easier to extinguish once removed from the fire source.


7. Be Smart About Decorations Placement


Let’s face it, people go all out for Halloween. When it comes to setting up outdoor decorations, follow manufacturer instructions to help avoid unexpected damage to your home or guests. For indoor décor, do not overload electrical outlets when plugging older decorations in. 

Putting up decorations can also put your ladder safety skills to the test. Choosing a ladder with slip-resistant feet that extends at least 3 feet over the roofline will help avoid any accidents. 

It’s also important to make sure the ladder can support your weight and have a helper hold it at the bottom.