Halloween is the second-most popular holiday in America behind Christmas. This time of the year is fun and frightful but you don’t want it to turn into a real-life nightmare.
That’s why you should always keep safety in mind on Halloween. Whether you’re celebrating this weekend or waiting until Wednesday, here are a few ways to keep you, your kids and your pets safe this Halloween!
- Be proactive with trick-or-treaters. If your kids are small, go trick-or-treating with them. Attach their phone number, home address and parents’ names to the inside of their costume in case they get separated. Encourage older kids to trick-or-treat in large groups. Stay close to home and have a pre-determined route that is well-lit with slow traffic. Don’t forget the flashlight!
- Set ground rules. If your kids or teenagers will be out with friends, set some rules. Give them a reasonable curfew and be sure they have a way to contact you in case something happens. Know who they’re celebrating with and know what they will be doing for the evening. Make sure they know to only approach well-lit houses and to never go inside a home or car of a stranger.
- Clear a path. If you’re staying home and passing out candy, be sure trick-or-treaters have easy access to your front door. Clear away any wet leaves, garden hoses, etc. Be sure your outside lights are on and working. If you have luminaries, make certain they are a safe distance from visitors as some costumes can be highly flammable.
- Keep Rover happy. Sometimes, pets can get spooked by doorbells or strange visitors. If your dog is well-behaved, be sure they can maintain a safe distance from the door. If your dog gets anxiety in these situations, put them somewhere where they can be happy and peaceful for the evening. A dog barking at the door will also scare a lot of small children, which could make for a rotten experience. Also, don’t give your pets any treats from the trick-or-treat stash.
- Costumes count. Be sure any costume you or your child wears fits well and isn’t too large, can provide ample heat if it’s cold out, is easy to move and walk in, and is bright enough to distinguish in the dark. Also, be careful with costumes that resemble animals as some people could mistake them for the real thing. (True story out of out Pennsylvania this week).
- Inspect the treats. Granted, there’s never really been a huge news story about razor blades ACTUALLY being in a child’s candy bag but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take a look at your kid’s loot and throw away anything unwrapped or even partially opened. If it looks suspect, just throw it out. Also, anything that might pose a choking hazard should be tossed.