Planning a Safe Halloween

Halloween is less than a couple of weeks away, and many have already begun planning for the festivities. Parents have helped their children find the perfect cowboy ensemble or princess dress, pumpkins have been carved and placed on porches, and the correct cobweb-to-fake-spider ratio has been deliberated and agreed upon.

On a night that is celebrated by dressing in festive costumes and collecting hoards of candy, there’s no denying that there’s plenty of fun to be had. People put tons of planning into Halloween to make sure that the holiday is as much fun as possible, and while it’s important to enjoy the holiday, you should also make sure that you and your family have a safe Halloween.

The hazards aren’t always apparent, but there are dangers associated with Halloween. According to the NFPA, Halloween decorations start more than 1,000 home fires each year. It’s been reported that twice as many children are killed due to pedestrian traffic accidents on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Those numbers are worrying, but Halloween can also pose other health risks as well.

Halloween brings excessive amounts of sugar. It’s recommended by the American Heart Association that children have no more than 3-4 teaspoons of sugar each day. A single Snicker’s candy bar contains 4 teaspoons of sugar.Sugar is associated with obesity, diabetes, sugar addiction, tooth decay, and other negative health effects. You don’t have to ban candy from your house, but make an effort to limit how much candy your child eats each day.

Going from door to door collecting goodies also put children with nut allergies at risk. Make sure you explain to your child the importance of not eating any candy or treats before it has been inspected. This is true for all children, regardless of allergies.

You also want to make sure Halloween costumes are safe. Here are some things to think about:

  • Costumes can be made from some pretty strange materials. If your child is allergic to latex, or other synthetic materials, make sure their costumes don’t contain any substance that could cause an allergic reaction.
  • Be sure that costumes are flame resistant, and that they do not present a fire hazard.
  • Avoid costumes that are too long. You don’t want your kid tripping over loose, flowing material.
  • Make sure your child can see through masks.

Keep pedestrian safety in mind. There are tons of people walking around on Halloween night, it’s dark, and it’s easy for drivers to get distracted.

  • Wear reflective strips, lights, glow sticks, carry flashlights, etc. to increase your visibility.
  • Cross at crosswalks, and look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Stick to routes that have paved sidewalks.
  • And if you’re the one driving be sure to pay attention to the road and nothing else. If your expecting a text message from your child, be prepared to park and safely respond rather than text while driving.

Make sure children are supervised while Trick-or-Treating. Children should be chaperoned by a responsible adult.

Dark is spooky, but it can also be dangerous. You may want to put up spooky decorations at your house for Trick-or-Treaters, but make sure the decorations are also safe. A dimly lit stairwell can add a dramatic effect, but it can also make it difficult to watch your step. Make sure there are no obstacles that people could trip over.

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