Top 10 Halloween Dangers To Watch Out For
Danger lurks on Halloween. Your kids-and you-face everything from minor faux pas to serious threats. Avoid the worst hazards with these essential safety tips..
Hazard: You place a candle inside your jack-o-lantern and set it out on an antique wood chair. Your son, in his excitement, rushes out the door and tips over the pumpkin. Suddenly, the candle sets your son’s lion costume ablaze and your antique chair up in flames.
Tip: Instead of putting a candle in your jack-o-lantern, use a flashlight and keep extra batteries on hand. Also, be sure to buy flame-retardant costumes or make costumes with materials that don’t burn quickly and are tighter-fitting.
2. Candy Binge
Hazard: Your son comes home with a pillowcase full of Halloween treats, and the temptation to binge is overwhelming. You know his promise of only having “one more” is hollow. After telling him that sugar rots your teeth and makes you fat, are you going to secretly raid his stash?
Tip: Have a delicious dinner before the kids go trick-or-treating, so everyone will be less hungry. When the kids bring the candy home, select a few treats to enjoy that night and put the rest of it away in a difficult-to-reach location for later.
Hazard: It’s dark. Your child isn’t easily visible in her witch costume, and she’s darting back and forth across the road in her quest for candy. Out of nowhere a car comes careening down the street and an accident almost happens.
Tip: Apply reflective tape to your child’s Halloween costume so they are visible. And, yes, have the boring talk with your kids about staying on the sidewalks and crossing only at intersections and designated crosswalks. Your kids won’t die from boredom.
4. Pumpkin Carving
Hazard: Your kids are keen to create a jack-o-lantern with a menacing, toothy grin. But if you let them wield a knife, they could easily cut themselves instead of the pumpkin-and then nobody will be grinning.
Tip: Let the kids help by cleaning out the pumpkin guts and drawing on its face. But make sure an adult does the carving. When you carve, use a dry knife to help prevent slipping, and always cut away from yourself in short, controlled strokes.
5. Inappropriate Costumes
Hazard: You and your sweetie show up to an adult Halloween party as Adam and Eve with only the skimpiest of coverings. Is it a daring statement or an offensive mistake that’s guaranteed to clear the room?
Tip: Consider the crowd that will be at the party, and then think about whether you really want to see pictures of your barely-there costume posted on Facebook the next day.
6. Trick not Treat
Hazard: Your child dumps out his trick-or-treat loot and discovers a needle that has been inserted into one of the unwrapped chocolates. Though rare, candy tampering is some people’s idea of a trick.
Tip: When your child brings his trick-or-treat loot home, carefully inspect each piece for candy that is unwrapped, has loose wrapping, has puncture holes or is homemade. Remove any suspicious-looking candy.
Hazard: Your Halloween nightmare turns real when your fairy princess doesn’t return home at the scheduled time. The police discover the teens down the street snatched her as a prank.
Tip: Your kids should always trick-or-treat in groups or accompanied by an adult. Consider organizing your own neighbourhood patrol. Also, be sure to tell your kids to only visit well-lit houses, and not to accept rides from strangers.
8. Pet Fright
Hazard: Your dog isn’t so happy to be wearing those rabbit ears. She’s also feeling nervous with all the strangers coming to the door on Halloween. This isn’t the night to let visitors approach your pooch to see if her bark is worse than her bite.
Tip: Cats and dogs won’t share your enthusiasm for costumes, so don’t dress them up. Also, it’s best to keep them away from the door.
9. Choking on a Costume
Hazard: Your daughter puts on a witch costume with a long, black cape. But when she goes out trick-or-treating, her friend steps on the cape and chokes your daughter momentarily.
Tip: Make sure your child’s costume doesn’t drag on the ground. Also avoid buying costumes with pieces that small children could easily pull off and put in their mouths. Get your kids to wear comfortable shoes, to reduce the likelihood of tripping.
10. Aerosol Sprays
Hazard: You want to create an authentic-looking tombstone to decorate your lawn, so you grab a can of insulating foam and spray. Then you decide to add some “blood” to your costume to make your horror movie character look authentic. Again, you reach for a can of spray paint. The foam and spray paint end up “decorating” the house as well, and give you a headache because you sprayed in an enclosed space.
Tip: Avoid chemical aerosols to create your costume or props, because they are highly flammable and they can cause headaches and coughing. Not to mention they are bad for the environment because they contain compressed gases and/or hydrocarbons, which contribute to global warming.
Now that you know how to avoid serious injury from candles, cars, carving and more, as well as how to sidestep embarrassment from costumes and candy binges, this Halloween you’ll be able to scare yourself silly, and still stay safe.