Autumn is a wonderful time of year and comes with colorful fall and harvest festivals and, of course, Halloween celebrations.
During all the festivities and fun, it’s a good idea to take precautions to make sure that all family members, including pets, enjoy a safe experience, particularly during Halloween. The most important thing is assuring that your kids are safe when trick-or-treating, but Halloween parties can also pose risks to your family, guests and property.
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides some great advice to make Halloween safe:
Costume Suggestions for Fall Parties, Trick-or-Treating
- Plan costumes that are reflective and brightly colored. Be certain that shoes fit well and that costumes are short. Your kids can trip on long costumes, or they can become entangled or come into contact with flame.
- When shopping for costumes, only buy ones made from flame-resistant materials.
- Instead of a mask that can limit eyesight, consider a decorative hat or non-toxic face make-up.
- Children and grown-ups should carry flashlights with fresh batteries when outside trick-or-treating.
- Never use decorative contact lenses as part of a costume. These lenses can be dangerous and can cause infection.
- Teach your children to never trick-or-treat alone. They should go in a group with a parent. All young groups should be chaperoned.
- Never allow young children to carve their own pumpkins. Instead, ask your child to draw the face on the pumpkin that you can then carve. Or decorate your pumpkin using colorful paints, glue and accessories.
- Instead of putting a candle in your pumpkin, consider lighting yours with a glow stick or flashlight. If you prefer a candle, use a votive candle.
- Candle-lit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable materials. Don’t leave a candle-lit pumpkin unattended.
Making Your House Safe for Visitors
- When getting ready for visitors at your home, remove anything that they could trip over in the dark. Make sure garden hoses, decorations, toys and bikes are not in walkways or on porches.
- Ensure bulbs in outside lights are working, and change any burnt-out ones.
- Restrain your pets so they are not tempted to follow visitors out of your yard. Restraining pets also provides safety for your visitors.
- Sweep any wet leaves away from walkways, steps and porches to prevent slipping and falling.
Monitor Your Kids’ Treats
- Though tampering is rare, inspect treats that come home from trick-or-treating or from holiday gatherings. Make sure nothing is spoiled, unwrapped or looks suspicious in any way.
- Don’t let children have unlimited access to festive candy and treats. Teach them to eat sweets in moderation and save some candy for another day.
- Keep candy, especially chocolate, out of the reach of pets. Any type of candy is not good for pets, and chocolate can be lethal.