Halloween Safety Shouldn’t be Scary

Halloween brings with it the fun of dressing-up in scary costumes, bobbing for apples and knocking door-to-door for a “trick-or-treat”.  While all of this can be fun, it’s important to stay safe as well.

On Halloween night there is usually lots of activity going on in neighborhoods.  It’s that one night of the year when people use golf carts that usually sit in their driveways, or pull tractors that are overflowing with trick-or-treaters.  All of this at the same time lots of children are running around from door-to-door, crossing the street and dodging the motorized vehicles.  While I love Halloween, the safety of the children is really what frightens me on this scary night.

Although Halloween safety tips are given year-after-year, they always bear repeating:

Light-up: Make sure each child trick-or-treating has some sort of light that allows them to see where they’re going and allows others to see them.  I like small flashlights, reflective tape, and those light-up necklaces or bracelets that illuminate when you break the seal.

Travel from door-to-door: Be sure to walk and not run from house-to-house and only go to houses that are well lit.  When possible, stay on sidewalks and not in the street.  Look both ways before crossing the street, and go to all the houses on one side of the road before crossing over to the other.

Costumes: Test make-up before wearing it to ensure that you don’t have an allergy.  Make sure you won’t trip on your costume and that it is flame-resistant.  Be careful not to walk next to lit candles so that a flowing costume doesn’t accidentally catch on fire.

Food:  So how worried should parents be about the candy their children eat? There’s always the worry that a razor blade, a needle, poison or drugs have been secretly hidden in the candy.  In fact, this year carries some added concern that, because of its legalization, marijuana-laced candy will be easily offered to children.  While this could happen, it’s very unlikely.  According to Snopes, which has thoroughly investigated decades worth of alleged halloween horrors, the only known cases (and they are very rare) of poisoning or drugs can be traced back to people who knew the victims, with only one case of marijuana-laced snickers being given to children accidentally.  With regards to razors or needles, this has occurred, but it is usually a prank played by someone who knows the recipient and there have been no known serious injuries as a result.

As always, parents should inspect candy before children eat it.  This means that kids need to understand they should not eat any of the candy while they are out trick-or-treating.  If the candy is not in commercial packaging, or the packaging is torn or looks old or tampered with then throw it out.  A bigger concern is probably to make sure that children do not eat candy they may be allergic to or could choke on.

I hope that everyone has a safe and happy Halloween.