Mar 19th, 2010 - 11:39:35
Halloween Safety - Old Tricks and New Tips
By Julie Joyce
Oct 15, 2009, 22:24
Well it's that ghoulish time of year again.
Halloween is a fun, creative and adventurous
holiday. However, unlike other holidays,
Halloween can inspire activities and behaviors
which are dangerous, destructive and sometimes
cruel. Here are some old tricks and new tips to
help you and your children to have a spooky
but safe Halloween.
# 1 - Home Safety Tips:
Evaluate your home inside and outside for
fire safety hazards and accidental injury
hazards. Halloween decorations should not be
assembled or operated in a way that will create
a fire risk or accidental injury. Electrical or
candle lit decorations should be monitored
and maintained safely. Keep obstructions
away from the path that will be used by
# 2 - Costume Safety Tips:
Choose costumes using care and common
sense. Despite annual reminders, many
children are outfitted with dangerous
apparel. Children should not wear costumes
or accessories that will obstruct their
view, especially their peripheral vision.
Costumes should also not have sections
that could restrict movement or create a
tripping hazard. Any costume props should
be avoided if they could create an injury
If you decide to skip the mask and
use face paints, make sure that they
are non-toxic, hypoallergenic and safe
Do your best to choose flame resistant
costumes. Many homes may have candle
lit pumpkin decorations that could become
a fire hazard to flowing costumes. Make sure
that your child knows to "stop/drop/roll"
if their costume catches on fire.
# 3 - Neighborhood Safety Tips:
As ghosts, goblins and other creatures
converge upon the streets in your town,
do your best to be extra careful while
driving. Children may be wearing costumes
that obstruct their view or create a tripping
hazard. Do your best to keep a watchful
and careful eye as you travel about.
# 4 - Trick-or-treating Safety Tips:
It is a good idea to feed the kids before
venturing out. This will reduce the risk
that they will try to eat some treats before
you have a chance to inspect them for
tampering or other concerns. Make it clear
to your kids that NO treats should be eaten
before you inspect them.
Children should not trick-or-treat without
adult supervision. Halloween can bring out
some ghoulish bullies and behaviors. Your
supervision helps to protect your child from
adult predators, bully pranksters and
Check with you local town management
to make sure that you are complying with the
authorized trick-or-treat time schedule.
It is best to trick-or-treat only during daylight
hours. However, if you expect to be out after
dusk make sure that your trick-or-treaters
are carrying flashlights, lighted necklaces,
reflective shoes and or reflective clothing.
Plan a safe route for your children. Stay on
well lit blocks that you are familiar with.
Cross streets at corners when traffic is clear.
Avoid alleys, backyard short cuts and
unpopulated areas. Only approach the front
door of homes that are well lit. Children should
never go into a stranger's home to get a treat.
This creates a dangerous situation.
Children should not approach or touch
people's pets along the route. If approached
by a mean looking dog, children should be
told to stay still and act like tree. This will
hopefully cause the dog to lose interest
in the children.
Make sure that you dispose of any treats
that are questionable or unsafe for your
child. It is also wise to ration out the treats
in a limited fashion to reduce the risk
of serious tooth decay. The real fun is
in getting the treats, not eating them.
# 5 - Unacceptable behaviors, tricks and dangers:
It is not unusual for someone (even adults)
to wear a mask that conceals their identity
on Halloween. This creates a frightening
opportunity for a child abductor to approach
and abduct a child that is not accompanied
by an adult. It also makes it more difficult
to describe an abductor who is wearing a
Halloween mask. This is another important
reason for children to be adequately supervised
It is also possible that children could be
approached by a stranger in a car. They
should follow the everyday safety rule:
never go into anyone's car without your
Make it clear to your children that it is not
acceptable behavior for them to engage in any
pranks that damage or vandalize anyone's
property. They should also understand that
they should never play cruel tricks on
younger children or be cruel to animals.
How will they know that you do not approve
of this behavior if you never tell them?
Have a happy and SAFE Halloween!
About the Author:
Julie Joyce (the "Super Safety Mom") is a
Child and Family Safety Expert, committed to
teaching parents how to protect their kids.
She is the Editor of FamilySafety101.com and
the "Family Safety Alert" newsletter. Go to:
for F-r-e-e copies of Julie's Family Safety Book,
Child ID Kits & other safety resources.