It’s one week until Halloween and all your little ones have got candy on the brain. From new Charlotte homes in Hunton Forest and Bent Creek to new communities in Austin Travisso and Montebello – pirates, vampires and princesses across the nation are waiting in the wings to fill their sacks with goodies.
And it’s up to you, mom and dad, to keep an eye on Halloween safety.
For all the fun, fake blood, smoke machines and strobe lights, the spookiest holiday of the year does present several real-life dangers. Planning ahead goes a long way to keep your kids safe and away from harm.
Safety Starts with Costume Design
Crafty parents love to get creative with costumes. When working your magic, be sure to consider the safety aspects of your work of art, too.
- Did you know that kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night of the year? Instead of dark costumes that blend into the night, choose bright colors that are easily seen in headlights. If your kids are insistent that witches wear black, not white, run reflective safety tape along their trick-or-treating bag for increased visibility.
- Glow-in-the-dark bracelets and wands should be part of any Halloween getup.
- Get the right fit. Costumes should be loose enough to allow for warm clothing underneath but tight enough to not be a tripping hazard. Hem any dresses or robes to be well off the ground.
- Shop carefully when purchasing cheap, store-bought costumes. If the materials aren’t labeled as flame retardant, look elsewhere.
- This safety tip won’t go over well but avoid masks at all cost. Wearing a mask obstructs vision, particularly since they are one-size-fits-all and likely to shift and fall out of place.
- Limit accessories and don’t give young kids pointy objects such as swords, wands or similar.
- Oversized shoes or high-heels are great for Halloween photos but take off dad’s work boots and throw on comfy sneakers before trick-or-treating.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that you test all makeup prior to the big night. Try out each product in a small area first to check for allergic reactions or irritation to the skin or eyes. Apply nontoxic makeup only.
Understand the FDA risk assessment for wearing decorative contact lenses.
Follow These Simple Guidelines for Trick-or-Treating
Children who have not yet reached their teens should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating. If older sibling will be guiding younger kids, pin a piece of paper with your name, address and telephone number inside the little ones’ pockets in case they get separated.
Non-supervised trick-or-treaters must:
- Stick to a predefined route and return home before curfew.
- Stay in a group.
- Walk only on the sidewalk and stay away from dark streets. Never cut through yards and only cross the road at crosswalks.
- Only approach homes that are well-lit and never go inside a stranger’s home.
- Carry a cellphone and flashlight with new batteries.
Different families have different rules but don’t be afraid to restrict older teens to Halloween parties as the night can present opportunities for mischief when kids are too old to be excited by trick-or-treating.
Be Smart with Candy
Feed kids with a large, healthy meal before trick-or-treating to prevent overindulgence. Very young kids or children with food allergies should be told to wait until you get home to eat their candy.
Inspect everyone’s loot and remove homemade treats and any candy with torn/loose wrappers. Check for items that could be a choking hazard for little ones like hard candy, gum or sticky taffy.
Consider storing your kids’ candy collection for safekeeping. Ration out a reasonable selection every day. Kids won’t be happy at first, but they will be in 3-weeks’ time when they’ve still got candy and all their friends are out!
Rethinking the Jack-o-Lantern
Carving pumpkins in a time honored American tradition – but it’s also a dangerous one.
Purchase kid-friendly carving tools or better yet, put a twist on this classic Halloween activity by decorating pumpkins with glitter glue, paint and other accessories from the party store.
Serious cuts from pumpkin carving is a common Halloween danger, leave the cutting to adults and consider lighting Jack-o-lanterns with battery powered flameless candles. Pumpkins lit with real candles should be placed on a sturdy table far away from flammable materials.
Plan a Party In lieu of Trick-or-Treating
Many families are choosing to forego trick-or-treating altogether to have a ghostly good time at a Halloween party instead.
Research local churches, schools and community centers to see what Halloween-themed events or Haunted Houses are available in your neighborhood. Or you can get together with neighbors and friends to plan a Hallow’s Eve shindig of your own!
Check out these classic Second Home on the Right Blog posts for frighteningly good decorating ideas:
For creepy treats, don’t forget to whip up a batch of Witches’ Fingers and Caramel Spiders.
And here are a few more Treat Ideas that are Ghostly Good.
Halloween Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
If you’re in the car on Halloween, keep an eye out for children darting into the street from between parked cars. Slow down and take extra care when entering/leaving driveways or alleys and pay extra attention at dusk for kids in dark costumes. Discourage teenage or inexperienced drivers in your household from driving on Halloween.
Prepare your own home for safe trick-or-treating by turning on the lights and making sure all pathways and stairs have proper visibility. Clean snow or leaves from the sidewalk and remove tripping hazards such as ornaments, bicycles or hoses. Clear additional space on the front porch as Halloween spooks often travel in groups!
Consider candy substitutes like stickers, stationery or small toys. Remember that dogs can become agitated or startled with so many strangers coming to the door. Secure them in a bedroom or similar to avoid an unfortunate biting accident.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween from all of us at Taylor Morrison.