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Halloween Safety Tips

As you show off your fantastic costume; at a party, on the street, or at a trunk-or-treat keep this list of safety tips in mind.

Prepare Your Home

  1. Take extra efforts to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check around your property for low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
  2. Consider fire safety when decorating. Do not overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or special effects.
  3. Always keep Jack O’ Lanterns and hot electric lamps away from drapes, decorations, flammable materials or areas where children will be standing or walking. Review the principle of “Stop-Drop-Roll”
  4. Learn or review CPR skills to aid someone who is choking or having a heart attack.
  5. Confine, segregate or otherwise prepare household pets for an evening of frightful sights and sounds. Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags. Consult your veterinarian for further advice.
  6. A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from eating Halloween treats before parents have had a chance to examine them.
  7. Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior with the child/children that you are responsible for. Agree on a time when older revelers must return home.
  8. Remind all household drivers to remain cautious and drive slowly throughout the community. Adult party-goers should establish a designated driver.

Costume Tips

  1. Obtain light sticks or flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts. Bring extra!
  2. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and teach children how to contact you or call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.
  3. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  4. Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
  5. Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives.
  6. Think twice before using simulated knives, guns, or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.

Fun Alternatives

  1. Check out myMotherLode.com’s event section for a list of non-profit celebrations.
  2. Share the fun by arranging a visit to a retirement home or senior center.

When Trick-or-Treating

  1. Only go to homes with the porch light on.
  2. Remain on well-lit streets, use the sidewalk or walk on the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  3. Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  4. Never enter a stranger’s home or car for a treat.
  5. Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
  6. Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight then cross the street as a group in established crosswalks, never run.
  7. Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing trick-or-treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean that others will!!
  8. Law enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

After Trick-or-Treating

  1. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items. Only items in their original packaging should be eaten.
  2. If you have an item that you felt was suspicious, wash your hands with soap and warm water for one minute.
  3. Have a plan on how treats will be eaten for the days following Halloween.
  4. Make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies) are given to those of an appropriate age.
  5. You should always use good hygiene practices and wash your hands often and of course before you eat.

Dental Tips 

  1. Try to avoid treats that are sticky (like taffy), extremely hard (peanut brittle), chewy (caramel) or crunchy (mixed nuts). These can break teeth, pull out fillings and compromise crowns and other forms of dental work.
  2. Stick with soft treats that melt in your mouth, such as peanut butter cups, chocolate kisses or – better yet – thinly sliced fruit.
  3. Don’t chew on the ice in your drink. It can damage tooth enamel and metal braces. 
  4. After indulging in holiday treats, brush and floss thoroughly. Food trapped in, under or behind metal braces can cause staining and tooth decay.

We know that many of these tips are common sense, but it is always good to review. Enjoy a safe Halloween!

Adapted from 2003 myMotherLode.com news story here.