Halloween can be one of the most fun nights of the year, with costumes, parties, decorations and trick-or-treating. But it’s also important to take steps to keep kids and your home safe when the ghosts and goblins come out to play. Nothing is scarier than a child suffering an injury caused by an adult’s carelessness.
Here are 8 tips for keeping your kids and your own home safe on Halloween night:
- Don’t allow kids to trick or treat alone. Children should be with a trusted adult, especially children under age 12. Responsible children over age 12 should walk in groups and stick to areas approved by their parents or other responsible adults. Trick-or-treaters should avoid houses that don’t have outdoor lights on.
- Walk safely. Children should walk on sidewalks as much as possible and look both ways before crossing streets, using crosswalks and traffic signals wherever possible. Make sure children don’t cross between cars or dart into traffic. Pay attention and look for cars that are backing up or turning. Don’t walk near lit candles or luminaries.
- Make sure costumes are safe. Put reflective stickers or tape on costumes and bags. Costumes should not be too long to avoid trips and falls. It’s safer to use face paint instead of masks. If a child wears a mask, make sure it fits well to avoid obstructing vision. Fake swords, knives and other accessories should be flexible and soft. Costumes should be made of flame-retardant material.
- Light up the night. Carry a flashlight and give kids glow sticks to make them more visible to drivers.
- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Inspect treats for choking hazards or tampering before allowing children to eat them. Throw away unwrapped treats or homemade goodies from people you don’t know.
- Drive safely. On Halloween night, drive slowly and carefully, taking extra time to watch for children. Stay alert and enter and exit driveways and neighborhood streets slowly.
- Keep your walkway safe for visitors. Make sure stairs and other areas are well-lit and free of anything that could cause someone to fall. Homeowners who invite trick-or-treaters onto their properties may be held legally responsible for injuries caused by unsafe conditions. Homeowners’ insurance usually covers these sorts of premises liability claims, so you should not worry about filing a claim if your child gets hurt at a friend or neighbor’s house.
- Take care with candles. Keep jack-o’-lanterns lit with candles and luminaries away from walkways, doorsteps, landings and curtains. Anything lit with a candle should never be left unattended and should be kept out of reach of small children and pets. Instead of using candles, try battery-operated lights, which are much less likely to spark a fire.