While Halloween is a holiday favorite for the young and the young-at-heart, trick-or-treating and holiday parties can sometimes be a dangerous mix.
October 31st is often a busy day in the emergency room, and it’s one of the top days of the year for car wrecks involving pedestrians under 18.
We’re not saying to skip celebrating — by all means, plan that costume party, head out trick-or-treating with your children, hand out candy to every witch, monster, mummy, or cartoon character that skips up to your door.
Just follow these 5 safety tips for Halloween (plus one bonus tip at the end!) to help avoid injury and still have a fun holiday!
First off, make sure cars can see your little trick-or-treaters.
This means considering avoiding costumes that consist of all or mostly black or dark colors. If your little one has their heart set on that all-black Batman getup, then pick up some reflective tape (you can often find these made for bicycles or to put on cycling clothing in exercise & sport departments) and attach it to multiple places on your child’s costume to ensure they’ll be visible even after dark.
Always supervise your trick-or-treaters!
Make sure they don’t dart into streets, and that they’re checking both ways before they cross. If your kids are old enough that you feel comfortable sending them out to trick-or-treat alone, make sure one member of the group has a cell phone in case of emergencies.
Prepare for trick-or-treaters by taking a quick walk around your property to check for potential hazards.
While you may hope all the youngsters will stay on your clearly marked path to the front door, odds are at least a few are going to wander across the grass. Check for gardening implements that might have been left out, such as a garden hose or another trip hazard, and make sure they’re safely put away.
You’ll also want to use non-flammable lights in jack-o-lanterns rather than lit candles, which can be a serious fire hazard. Somehow, we don’t feel like having to call your insurance to file a pumpkin-related fire damage claim is what you’ve been looking forward to this year.
Many restaurants, bars, and other locations hold special Halloween parties for adults. One unfortunate side effect is that drunk driving accidents (and car wrecks in general) tend to increase on the three days or so surrounding the holiday.
Whether you’re simply driving home from work, heading out to family dinner, or have a few errands to run, please drive with extreme caution.
Watch for erratic drivers or those trick-or-treating kids that might wander into the road in your neighborhood.
Take a few extra seconds to pause before moving at stoplights or four-way stop signs. It only costs you a second or so of your time, and it might help keep you from a serious car wreck.
Choose costumes that don’t have dangling fabric that might catch fire or pose a trip hazard. You’ll also want to make sure that any fake weapons like knives are blunt enough not to pose any injury risk to others.
Do not take real weapons as part of your Halloween costume.
If you’ll be headed out on the town (such as doing a bar crawl or another recreational party activity), you’ll want to remember the advice we posted for trick-or-treaters just above and consider adding some reflective tape to your own costume, too.
Choose a designated driver to ensure everyone gets home safely. Most bars and restaurants dont mind providing soft drinks free of charge to DD’s who can help keep the roads safe.
If you’re not able to get a designated driver, call a taxi or utilize a service like Uber or Lyft to get you to and from the party safely.
While the “razor blades in Halloween apples” stories were almost entirely an urban legend left over from the 1980’s, it’s still important to keep an eye on the candy your kids bring home.
Make sure there aren’t any candies that present a choking hazard to toddlers or younger children, and make sure all candy is still factory-wrapped in its original packaging.
We know it’s hard to resist homemade candy and cookies, and if you know the person who made it well and trust them, we’re not going to tell you to say no to homemade Snickerdoodles at the door.
If you receive homemade candy from a stranger, however, it’s better to be safe than sorry and dispose of the candy uneaten. Your children will forgive you… eventually.
If you’re hoping to hand out candy to little ones on Halloween this year, we’d like to recommend joining up with the Teal Pumpkin Project, a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of and provide safe candy options for children with food allergies.
If you’re escorting a child with potentially dangerous food allergies around, keep an eye out for teal pumpkins as a sign that the household has candy safe for your little ones to consume.
If you’d like to participate by painting one of your front-step pumpkins teal and providing allergy-safe treats for trick-or-treaters this year, take a look at this list of suggested allergy-safe or non-food treats you can hand out!
At Bluestein Attorneys, your safety — and your individual rights — are important to us.
We have helped our clients deal with the aftermath of hit-and-runs, car wrecks involving texting and driving, filing an insurance claim after a car accident, DUI defense, and more.
Request your FREE consultation by giving us a call at (803) 779-7599 or contact us online at any time!