Much like Christmas, Halloween is no longer relegated to a single day. A number of Halloween enthusiasts now begin decorating at the start of October. Hijinks and autumn revelry fill the air as individuals eagerly count down to the end of the month.
Though the lightheartedness of Halloween festivities, such as costumes and candy, garner the bulk of celebrants’ attention, it’s important to take safety into consideration as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, children are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween as other nights of the year. Cuts and burns also are more common on Oct. 31.
A good Halloween scare should come from costumes, not accidents or injuries. This Halloween, consider these safety measures, courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide, the Mayo Clinic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
♦ Make sure you’re visible when trick-or-treating. Reflective tape, glow sticks, flashlights, or camping lanterns can make pedestrians more visible to motorists.
♦ Pedestrians should walk on sidewalks if they are available. When sidewalks are not available, walk facing traffic and do so as far off to the side of the road as you can get.
♦ Drivers should be especially alert to pedestrians on Halloween. Drive slowly, as many kids scurry from house to house in search of Halloween candy.
♦ Pedestrians and drivers should follow the rules of the road, stopping at intersections and crossing in crosswalks.
♦ Consider alternatives to carving pumpkins, since the risk of being cut while carving is high. If you want to carve, leave the carving to adults. Utilize battery-operated flameless candles or glow sticks to illuminate jack-o’-lanterns.
♦ All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant. Make sure that costumes do not impede your ability to walk or see.
♦ Test makeup to check for skin irritation before application. Remove it promptly after returning home.
♦ Set up a buddy system so that no one is going it alone. Agree on a specific time children should return home. Adults should chaperone young children.
♦ While incidences of candy tampering may be minimal, no one should snack on candy until it has been inspected. Inspections also protect against food allergies.
♦ The candy bounty should be rationed so no one overindulges and feels ill later on.
Halloween season is a fun time of year, but safety should go hand in hand with all the celebrating on this special day.