Halloween Safety Tips To Make The End Of October A Treat

Staying Safe On Halloween 

Halloween is traditionally seen as the scariest time of year. While this makes it an exciting time for kids and adults, there are only certain types of scary that you want. The spooky atmosphere of scary movies, having your spouse jump out at you from behind the corner, and the feeling of exploring a haunted house can all be very fun types of scary. Seeing your kid in a dangerous situation is not. By keeping these Halloween safety tips in mind, you can help keep the odds of an incident low and ensure that you and your family can have a fun night. 

Pumpkin Carving And Jack-O-Lantern Safety Tips

 

Ensure Kids Don't Have Access To Dangerous Tools 

Knives and other sharp objects are not safe for kids to handle, and even taking your eye off them for a second could lead to disaster. It can be great fun to let the kids design the face of the Jack-O-Lantern with a marker; an important Halloween safety tip is that adults should do the actual cutting. 

Avoid Using Candles 

The bright light inside a Jack-O-Lantern is a Halloween staple. However, as anyone who learned about fire safety or played Pokémon knows, plants are very vulnerable to fire. This doesn't mean you need to sacrifice the aesthetic, though. A good Halloween safety tip is to use an alternative to candles, such as LEDs, fake candles, and glowsticks, that can give the same effect while also giving you plenty of options when it comes to colour. 

Make Sure You Work In A Clean Area With Lots Of Light 

Even for an adult, knives can be a bit tricky. An important Halloween safety tip is to ensure that the area you're in is well-lit enough for you to see what you're doing, minimizing the possibility of an accident. Removing clutter is also a good idea, as it lowers the chance of something you leave on the ground getting lost. 

Halloween Costume Safety Tips

 

Ensure Costumes Are The Correct Size 

Many kids enjoy picking out their favourite costumes when the season rolls around. While you obviously want your kid to dress in something that they like, it's an important Halloween safety tip to make sure that the costume fits properly. A costume that's too small can make your kid feel trapped and make it difficult to get into or out of. One that's too large means that the costume could potentially drag on the ground, causing your kid to trip and fall. 

On a related note, having too many hanging pieces or costume accessories could also cause a slip and fall and are potential fire hazards. Anything that sticks out or drags, such as fake wings, extra baggy clothing and tails as part of a costume, can be hazardous for this reason.  

Check Visibility In Masks 

Masks are a favourite part of a costume for many kids. What better way to look like a skeleton than with a white skull-shaped mask that has the same rigid structure as an actual skull? While these can help make things more immersive for everyone and add an extra layer of fun, masks can be difficult to see out of. It's best to ensure that your kid keeps their entire peripheral vision open. If this isn't something that can be done easily, a good Halloween safety tip is to instead use non-toxic makeup or face paint to help make the costume more authentic without obscuring your kid's vision. 

Use Bright And Colourful Costumes 

There are a lot of things that seem like good costume ideas on the surface. Your kid might want to sneak around town hiding in the shadows dressed as a ninja, fly from place to place dressed as a bat, or bring all of their neighbours bad luck as a black cat. However, a darker costume will make your kid harder to see in the dark, which leads to some safety issues. 

A good Halloween safety tip is to find a costume with bright colours. Any bright costume that reflects light and makes your kid stand out against the dark of the evening is a good choice when discussing visibility. If your kid insists, there are likely safer alternatives to many of the darker-coloured options, and reflective tape can brighten up an otherwise darker costume.  

Make Sure Fake Weapons Are Clearly Fake 

If your kid is old enough to handle it responsibly, giving them a fake weapon can help immerse them more in their holiday fantasies. However, before your little pirate, Jedi knight, or Thor hits the street, an essential Halloween safety tip is to make sure that it's obvious to anyone that the weapon is fake. The right colouring, a cartoony, unrealistic look, and any type of universal dullness all help sell this illusion. Having any markings indicating fakeness, such as safety orange on the tip of a fake gun, clearly visible while the fake weapon is holstered away is always a plus. 

A related Halloween safety tip is to only give your kid a fake weapon if they are mature enough to handle it responsibly. While imaginary bullets aren't a danger to people's safety, a plastic sword can still hurt someone if swung with enough force. It's best to ensure your child understands when it's appropriate to have the fake weapon out and when it isn't, as well as to never point a fake gun at anyone. 

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips

 

Beware Of Strangers 

Everyone who has grown up since the 70s likely spent their childhood getting familiar with the concept of stranger danger. A good Halloween safety tip for everyone, especially children, to be careful of strangers that they meet being a potential danger if not handled with caution.  

Those with ill intent often take advantage of children's naivety and make offers like rides home or free candy or toys. Let your children know that these are offers that they should never take from strangers under any condition. 

Here are some Halloween safety tips you can teach kids for handling encounters with strangers: 

  • Never get into a stranger's car. 
  • Never enter a stranger's house. 
  • Learn to say 'no' to offers strangers make. 
  • Don't initiate conversations with a stranger. 
  • Carry a whistle, horn, or other device that makes noise to alert those near you, as well as a flashlight. 
  • Carry a cell phone to contact someone you know or 911 in case of an emergency. 
  • Don't be afraid to yell or make a scene alerting others. In a situation where safety is jeopardized, it's okay to use your outdoor voice. 

Please be aware that there are likely more Halloween safety tips you can give your child. When in doubt, be on the side of caution and stay safe. 

Know The Route 

It's important to know where you're going and how to get back home. Children should always know how to get home at any point in their route, especially when they are old enough to go trick-or-treating without parents present. 

On a related note, another good Halloween safety tip is to plan the route in advance. Also, when planning your route, it's best to stay in well-lit areas and avoid areas known for high rates of crime. 

Avoid J-Walking 

"Look both ways before you cross the street" and "only cross at designated areas" have likely been drilled into your mind so much that it's automatic now. However, you have to remember that an 8-year-old kid hasn't had this Halloween safety tip drilled into their head for decades, even if they're in a time traveller costume. As a result, they will need reminders. They might get excited to cross the street to visit the house with a front yard decorated to look like a graveyard, their friend's place, or the home that gave them five handfuls of their favourite candy last year. However, it's vital to a kid's safety that you teach them to wait until they reach a red light or a stop sign and cross there when traffic signals say they should. 

Travel In Groups 

It's best that either you or your spouse take your kids trick-or-treating when they're still little, as they will still need a responsible adult around when trick-or-treating. It's up to you to decide if your kid is young enough to require your adult accompaniment or old enough to trick or treat without your supervision. 

If your little one is young enough to require them to be at your side during Halloween, its up to you to stay by their side and ensure that your little wizard hasn't pulled a disappearing act. 

It's also up to you to decide when your offspring are old enough to trick or treat without an adult, but even when they do so, it's imperative that they still go in a group, such as with friends their own age. Make sure your kid is only involved with people you trust, and you should keep in contact with their friends' parents. Travelling in a group makes them no longer an isolated, easy target but also can create some opportunities for fun. Activities like trick-or-treating are always more fun when socializing, and if everyone in the group is into it, there's the added option to plan costumes and make a theme. It can be fun seeing a family or group of youngsters dressed as a pack of wolves, a bunch of skeletons, or The Avengers. 

Halloween Treat Safety Tips

 

Inspect Your Kids Candy 

Many kids love the candy aspect of Halloween, and after a full evening of ensuring your kids' safety, it can be tempting to cave into their demands and let them have what they want. While there's nothing wrong with letting them have a few treats on Halloween night as a reward for being good little ghouls or bats who listened to Mom and Dad, it's an important Halloween safety tip to double-check that everything is safe and that there are no suspicious items. Wait for your kids to get home before they start eating, and remove anything that looks suspicious. It should also be noted that homemade treats shouldn’t be accepted due to the risks involved. Also, if you notice there's some hot new treat this year that seems really popular, and your kid received plenty of it, you might want to taste-test it before you expose your kids to it.  

Watch For Allergies 

While candy can be fun, an additional Halloween safety tip is to remember that if you have a kid with allergies, you have to be extra cautious. Milk, eggs, wheat, and various types of nuts are common allergens found in candy, chocolate, and other delicious goodies. Some kids will only react if they physically consume the product, but others can experience an allergic reaction just by sensing the product. Anything containing these, or made in a factory that contains these, will have them listed in a way that stands out on the ingredients list, so be sure to read the packaging carefully. 

If your kids have these allergies, it's vital that you teach them how to recognize and avoid them responsibly. If in doubt, throw it out. 

Ensure Everything Is Wrapped 

Although tampering is rare, a vital Halloween safety tip is ensuring that everything is properly wrapped, as a lack of this could mean that something unscrupulous has happened. Even something that came unwrapped by accident could lead to some spoiled items. If anything isn't wrapped professionally or has packaging that contains any holes, take no chances and get rid of it. 

Tips to Keep Your Home Safe For Trick Or Treaters

 

Keep Your Lights On 

Many Halloween safety tips involve you ensuring the trick-or-treaters stepping onto your property are safe. Similar to how you should have the area where you are carving your pumpkin, you should have any lights near your house to ensure children are safe on Halloween. Remember that children in costumes who are excited are especially vulnerable to things such as tripping. It comes down to more than that, as well. Even a responsible adult who steps onto your property could be vulnerable. In any case, while you should have the protection of personal liability insurance, prevention is even better. Use things like porch lights, outdoor lights and other light sources to ensure everyone knows where they're going. 

Make Sure Your Path Is Safe To Walk On 

Even a well-lit home and pathway can be dangerous. Any debris or obstacles on your pathway can be a trip hazard. Difficult-to-navigate steps or excessive and disorganized decorations can also provide hazards. An easily overlooked Halloween safety tip is to ensure children can safely walk from the sidewalk to their front door on a well-marked path without any hazards. 

Offer Non-Food Alternatives For Kids With Allergies 

Even if your kid doesn't have allergies, you can still brighten the day for a kid with allergies. One in 13 kids has food allergies, and many of these allergies are very severe, so it's more common and serious than many people think. If you want to brighten the day for a child who's unfortunate enough to have allergies, a good Halloween safety tip is to offer fun things like small toys, stickers, or other fun activities. You can also participate in the teal pumpkin project and set a teal pumpkin in front of your home to signal that you have non-food items available for Halloween. 

Tips for Driving On Halloween Night

 

Drive Extra Slowly 

Driving always comes with a risk of hurting someone else, especially children. This is especially true on October 31st due to the vast number of children around, combined with the fact that it is often dark out by the time trick-or-treating starts. One Halloween safety tip to help minimize the risks involved here is to drive slowly. This gives children more time to notice you coming, more time for you to notice them, and allows for shorter braking distance if an emergency requiring you to slam on your brakes appears. 

Watch For J-Walking Children 

While it's true that children shouldn't be j-walking in the first place, you need to remember that mistakes happen, meaning an important Halloween safety tip is to be prepared for when they do. Keeping your eyes on the road also includes keeping your eyes on the area around the road, increasing the chances that you will be able to see a kid who's about to dart out onto the road. 

Have Your Lights On Earlier 

While the dark of night provides a great aesthetic for a Halloween feel, darkness can increase risk and make following Halloween safety tips extra important. Ontario law says that headlights should be on a half hour before sunset and half an hour after sunrise, and any other time that visibility would be an issue, such as if there is fog or precipitation. As a good general Halloween safety tip, you should probably add an extra half hour, bumping to an hour before sunset just to be safe. 

Remember To Enjoy The Spooky Season 

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that Halloween, while not an 'official' holiday, is still an excuse to have a good time. Whether you and your family enjoy scary movies, dressing up, treats, or just the general feel of the holiday itself, it's important that when following all these Halloween safety tips, you enjoy yourselves and allow yourselves the freedom to indulge. 

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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