The tricks to making it a treat
Spooky, late-night graveyards, walk-through haunted houses, and thrilling horror movies can all come as fun and games at Halloween. People usually get a thrill of fun with intentionally frightening experiences, but don’t be tricked! Halloween ranks as the third most dangerous night of the year, especially with Halloween falling on a Friday night. So, treat yourself and your family with the knowledge of keeping it safe! Here are some helpful tips to spell out some safety rules for a “spooktacular” Halloween:
- Swords, knives, hammers, and any other costume accessories should be short and flexible. If costumes consist of weaponry, this is a must. You may want your costume to look rather real and defined by using realistic replicas, or even the real thing, but instead, let your costume be the real deal and keep weapons of any sort to basic toy status. If a toddler can’t play with it, its probably too dangerous to walk around with.
- Avoid trick-or-treating alone, especially after dark. Stay in groups and try to make it a larger group of friends and family. Make sure there are adults and older teenagers with little ones to help them navigate roads and crossings safely. Creepy prowlers are far less likely to pick on groups with adults and older kids in the mix. Drivers are much more likely to see a mass of people.
- Fasten reflective tape to your costumes, front and back! Depending on your costume, you can also tape it to your candy bag, just keep it in hand at all times out on your walk. If your kids aren’t keen on using reflective tape, then make it fun and use glow sticks! Tape them to your costume or purchase the glowstick necklaces and wear it effortlessly around your neck or costume hats. If you will be driving, keep in mind that many neighborhoods have narrow roads and/or no sidewalks so trick-or-treaters may be walking close to or on the road. Drive slow, scan for pedestrians, and make sure your headlamps are properly lit for visibility.
- Examine all your candy as you receive it to ensure it has not been tampered with. Every year, there have been reports of candy that has been tampered and ridden with sharp plastics and metals, that is the last thing you want in your mouth!
- Hold a flashlight as you walk to help others see you and watch where you step! You wouldn’t want to step down in any mud, holes, or pet waste! Help others navigate, especially little children who are not savvy about walking around in the dark. Lastly, alway walk, do not run, especially across driveways and streets.
- Always test your costume outfits and makeup first. Don’t find out that your costume is the wrong size, scratchy, or defective while you are out. Make sure that masks have enough visibility for you to see where you are walking as well as allow you to use peripheral vision. Also, test costume makeup to make sure it won’t irritate your skin or eyes!
- Look both ways upon crossing the street. Use crosswalks when you can and if they are not available, cross in a well-lit area.
- Leave valuable items at home. Carry only your wallet if you are driving, but leave it all at home. You don’t want to lose anything while you are walking out on the street in the dark. Halloween also carries a high car-theft rate because many people park in unfamiliar places, in the dark, for long periods of time. Don’t leave valuables in the car either! You can reduce the risk by returning to your car and re-parking closer to another location you would like to trick-or-treat, thus not leaving your car unattended too long. Try also to park in a well-lit area or in front of homes receiving a lot of foot traffic.
- Only trick-or-treat in areas that you or a friend/family member you are with, are familiar with. Walking in an area you are not familiar with poses many additional risks such as injury and losing your direction.
- Wear a sweater or coat. Halloween is often a cold night in our area and the weather changes rather suddenly so keep close to your car and bring warm clothing should you need it. Also be sure that your shoes are comfortable for walking.
- Eat candy wrapped only by the manufacturer, avoid homemade treats passed out by strangers. If you would like homemade treats, t is best to make your own or nibble on those made by well-known friends and family.
- Enter no one’s home, even if you are invited inside. Kindly decline and move on to the next home. Stick to visiting well lit homes and respect the homes of those with the porch light turned off; this usually means they are not welcoming trick-or-treaters. Also, avoid entering someone else’s car that may offer you a ride. You have no control where someone you don’t know may drive you. Stick to your own two feet and your own car or a friend you came with.
- Never walk near decor candles on lawns, under low hanging branches, or through dark tunneled areas. Regarding candles, which are often used for Halloween decor and in Jack-o-lanters, keep your distance should they be near the walkway. Most costumes are made from flame-resistant materials, but also be weary of wearing costumes with a lot of excess and loose, flowing fabric. This excess could catch and snag on things like branches, sticks, rocks, fences, and cause you to trip and fall, as well as catch a flame.
That about spells out your Halloween safety! Keep these tips in mind as you go out tonight and remember to have some fun and take care of your teeth after eating candy!