Full moons. Black cats. Sugar rushes. Things get scary on Halloween. But what are the real dangers of the holiday? Learn how simple precautions, like carrying glow sticks and being extra vigilant about using crosswalks (kids are more likely to be struck by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year), can help you avoid the hazards and still have fun with your family.
- Buy costumes made with fire-resistant fabrics. Lighter colors are better, because they make kids easier to see at night.
- Make sure your little superhero is wearing a costume that fits. Pants, shoes and capes that are too big can cause kids to trip and fall.
- Remember how hard it was to trick-or-treat in a mask? Yikes. Try nontoxic face paint or makeup instead; it’ll be easier for your child to see and breathe. (But test it on your kids before the big day to make sure it doesn’t irritate their skin.)
- Swords and wands are cool, but to avoid actual combat wounds, keep them short and flexible.
- Kids under 12 should go with an adult. Besides, it gives you a great excuse to dress up and go trick-or-treating.
- Stay visible. Bring flashlights, glow sticks or reflective goodie bags or buckets, and add some reflective tape to costumes.
- When going from house to house, stay on the sidewalk and off the road. If there aren’t sidewalks, walk facing traffic and as far to the side as possible.
- Use well-lit, marked crosswalks and never cross the road between parked cars.
- Be the candy police. Check your children’s treats to make sure there isn’t anything they could choke on. For more on choking hazards, go here.
- Knives can be the bad kind of scary. Have children paint pumpkins while an adult does the carving.
- Take the fire hazard out of your jack-o’-lantern by lighting it with a glow stick.
- If you do use a real candle to light your pumpkin, a votive is safest. Place the pumpkin on a sturdy surface away from kids, pets, goblins, curtains and flammable objects, and blow the candle out before you leave the room.
- Keep your porch and yard brightly lit and free of obstacles (like too many tombstones) for trick-or-treaters.
Face paint is safer than masks; kids can see and breathe more comfortably.