Hollywood portrays Halloween as that one night out of the year filled with danger and fright.
Although there’s no such thing as a real-life Mike Myers coming after you this Halloween, there are real dangers to look out for during this festive season.
So we’ve compiled this printable safety list to keep the kids (and adults) in your life safe this Halloween.
Halloween Costume Safety Measures
Last year we covered some of the common Halloween dangers in Florida — some of which can be easily mitigated simply by choosing safe costumes.
Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind when choosing yours and your children’s costumes:
- Make sure you can be seen. Costumes should be bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape to costumes and bags to increase visibility.
- In order to prevent falling hazards, shoes should be properly fitted and costumes should be short enough to avoid being tripped on.
- Masks can limit and block vision. Consider using make-up or hats instead. (Be aware, make-up should be tested on a small patch of skin first for adverse reactions, and hats should be properly fitted.)
- Plan ahead if you intend to wear decorative contact lenses. Get them from your optometrist, instead of going with a store brand. They can be dangerous and can cause permanent injury if misused.
- When purchasing costumes, look for items that are flame resistant.
Trick-or-Treating Safely This Season
During Halloween, pedestrian traffic accidents are higher than any other time of year. This is especially true for children, as young people account for the most significant risk increases.
Parents should review the following safety tips with their children before trick-or-treating:
- You or another adult should be with them during trick-or-treating.
- If the children are older and planning to go with friends, agree upon a route and curfew.
- Advise them to stick to well-lit, familiar areas, and to travel only in groups.
- Remind your kids that they should never enter homes or vehicles for treats.
- Leave the electronic devices in your pockets when walking. Practice pedestrian road safety by looking up and both ways before crossing any street.
- Tell them to cross only at crosswalks. Do not cut across roads or jay-walk.
- Carrying flashlights or glow sticks can increase visibility to drivers.
- Review emergency services contact procedures with your children.
Responsible Driving on Halloween Night
Halloween is not only a dangerous night for pedestrians but for drivers as well. Both share the responsibility to keep roads and streets safe during Halloween celebrations.
Keeping the following Halloween safety tips in mind should do the trick:
- Drivers should slow down and be extra careful in residential neighborhoods. Children may be dressed in dark clothing and move excitedly and unpredictably.
- Practice extra caution when making turns at intersections.
- Be careful when exiting driveways and remember to check blind spots.
- Minimize distractions while driving. Loud music or talking to someone via Bluetooth may affect road awareness. Do not use your phone while driving.
- The hours between 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm are popular trick-or-treating hours. Drivers should slow down and take extra care during this time period.
Keeping Your Home Hazard-Free for Halloween
Halloween safety doesn’t end at your front stoop. Adults and children should try to ensure that their homes are safe and hazard-free too. Keep the following in mind:
- Always follow manufacturer labels and warnings. Do not overload outlets as this may lead to potential fire hazards.
- When lighting Jack-o’-Lanterns or decorations, try to use LED candles or lights. Real candles present fire hazards as they can easily be knocked over by children or pets.
- If you do use real candles, keep decorations away from curtains and easily flammable materials. Always keep a multipurpose fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place.
- Keep your front walk-way safe for trick-or-treaters. Secure loose tiles and remove tripping hazards, such as garden hoses, from the lawn.
- Replace outdoor lights that are burned-out or starting to burn out. This will increase visibility for trick-or-treaters.
- Keep pets confined or restrained so that they will not bite or jump on trick-or-treaters.
A Few More Halloween Safety Tips
These last few safety tips cover some of the random Halloween-related activities you may or may not participate in this season:
- Young children should never carve pumpkins as they can easily hurt themselves. Encourage them to help decorate the pumpkin — paints and pastels are a fun alternative. Carving should be left to adults.
- A healthy and filling meal before trick-or-treating will help children limit their treat intake en route and afterward at home.
- In fact, children should not have any treats prior to bringing them home for a safety inspection. Parents should examine every item for opened, spoiled or suspicious items. When in doubt, throw it out!
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed some Halloween safety tips. They even have a handy acronym to help you remember them – SAFE HALLOWEEN!
We hope you find one or more of these safe practices lists helpful in keeping yourself and your trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween. Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween season this year!
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.