By Adrian Sparrow
Halloween is almost here, as evidenced by the abundance of candy, pumpkins, witches, and skeleton figurines. Kids and adults alike love the excitement of dressing up, getting candy, navigating haunted houses, and enjoying the night with friends. Stay safe this spooky season with these tips to minimize accidents and make sure the only truly scary part of Halloween is the costumes and decorations.
-Wear flame-resistant, well-fitted costumes. Improperly fitted shoes, stiff props like swords or canes, or dangling decorations can be a tripping hazard.
-Use only nontoxic, washable makeup and face paint, and test them on a small patch of skin before the big night. Halloween masks can obstruct vision and even make breathing difficult; consider wearing makeup and wigs instead.
-Only use colored contact lenses with approval from your optometrist, as safe, well-fitting color lenses are often only available with a prescription. Poorly fitted or cheap contacts can cause pain, inflammation, and infections, which can then lead to vision loss.
-When you leave your house, lock doors and windows, and leave a few lights on. While this could be confusing for trick-or-treaters, it can help deter potential burglars who look to steal from empty houses. Leave the porch light off if nobody is handing out candy.
-Halloween can be full of bright lights and loud noises from decorations, fireworks, and passing kids that can cause anxiety for animals who may bite in defense. Restrain pets if they stay in the yard, or keep them inside.
-Whether you’re out and about or staying in, secure your belongings in your car to appear empty. Keep it free of electronics, bags, wallets or money, sunglasses, and even tucking away USB cords. Keep your vehicles inside the garage, if possible. Keep all the doors locked when you step away.
-Don’t go solo: practice safety in numbers. Grab some friends and go trick-or-treating in groups. Have a trusted adult accompany the children. If you bring pets, keep them on a leash at all times.
-Be cautious in the dark and bring flashlights with fresh batteries. Wear reflective costumes or accessories so cars can see you coming.
-Watch out for traffic. Always look both ways before walking across the street. When driving, look out for trick-or-treaters and slow down around kids who can run into the street unexpectedly.
-Only go to houses that have their porch light on. A lit porch on Halloween means that house is participating in trick-or-treating. Don’t go into a house based on decorations alone.
-Check the kids’ trick-or-treating take as soon as you get back home. Remove anything spoiled, open, unwrapped, or suspicious.
-Watch out for any ingredients that could cause allergic reactions. Similarly, consider giving out toys or stickers for trick-or-treaters with food allergies. Paint a pumpkin teal to tell trick-or-treaters you offer safe, non-food goodies. If you offer both candy and toys, keep the toys in a separate bowl to minimize cross-contamination.
-Don’t give babies and toddlers small candies, seeds, or anything else that can be a choking hazard (including candy wrappers, stickers, and toys).
-Establish a healthy routine for consuming candy. Overeating candy on Halloween night can lead to indigestion, problems with blood sugar, and a sleepless night with upset tummies. Make a plan in advance with clear expectations, practice moderation, and ration treats in the days and weeks after Halloween.