Halloween safety is mostly common sense, but the excitement of the evening, and all those giddy little wizards and pop stars raring to go, can interfere with the clearest of minds. Following these additional tips can help reign in the craziness of the spookiest night of the year:
Be prepared: The old Boy Scout motto still applies. Make sure you and/or your trick-or-treaters don't leave without a flashlight to see and be seen in the dark, as well as identification and a cell phone in case someone gets separated from the group.
Know the road: Stick to familiar neighborhoods (preferably your own), and stay on the sidewalk whenever possible. Review all street-crossing rules with little ones, including the following: Use only crosswalks, look before you cross and never dart out from in between parked cars.
Set a plan: If your older kids will be going out without you, set preplanned routes so you know where they'll be, and set curfews so they don't stay out too late -- and so you know when to go look for them if they're not home.
Limit exposure: In trick-or-treating as in life, there's strength in numbers, so always travel in groups. Kids should be reminded to never, ever enter a stranger's home even if that stranger has "lots more candy inside."
Set the stage: If you'll be giving out candy at your house, you can do your part to make the night safer for trick-or-treaters. Be sure to clear debris and obstacles from your yard and walkway; make your walkway well-lit; keep candlelit jack-o-lanterns away from high-traffic areas; and keep any pets well-contained.
With a little planning and care, you and your kids can fully enjoy those costumes and buckets of candy without any regrets. Have a safe, happy holiday!
For lots more information about Halloween and related topics, look over the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Candy's not the only Halloween safety concern. University of Michigan Health System. Oct. 1, 2004.http://www.med.umich.edu/opm/newspage/2004/hmhalloween.htm
- Childhood Pedestrian Deaths During Halloween -- United States, 1975-1996. CDC Wonder. Oct. 24, 1997.
- DeGroat, Bernie. "Child traffic fatalities increase on Halloween." The University Record Online. University of Michigan. Oct. 31, 2005.http://www.ur.umich.edu/0506/Oct31_05/24.shtml
- Keith, Christie. "Halloween Pet Threats." SFGate. Oct. 20, 2009. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/10/20/petscol102009.DTL
- Kurutz, Daveen Rae. "Safety concerns trump local trick-or-treat." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Oct. 25, 2007. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/multimedia/s_534337.html
- Expert Offers Tips for Picking Safe Halloween Costumes. NewsWise. University of Michigan Health System. Oct. 2, 2006.http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/523752/?sc=rsmn
- Halloween Health and Safety Tips. CDC.http://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/
- Halloween Safety: Safety Alert. US Consumer Product Safety Commission.http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/hallow.html
- Halloween Safety Starts at Home. Mayo Clinic.http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/halloween-safety/CC00072
- "Pins and Needles." Snopes. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/mayhem/needles.asp
- Safety Tips for a Spooky Halloween. Times Daily. Oct. 16, 2009.http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20091016/ARTICLES/910165033/-1/LIVING01?Title=Safety-tips-for-a-spooky-Halloween
- Sheriff offers Halloween safety tips. NJ.com. Oct. 19, 2009.http://www.nj.com/reporter/index.ssf/2009/10/sheriff_offers_halloween_safet.html