You and your children anxiously look forward to Halloween, and for good reason. Halloween is one of the most exciting days of the year, especially for children, with fun activities like dressing up, trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins.
However, Halloween also has its own risks. Though urban legends about people poisoning the candy they give out are very unlikely to happen, the holiday does have more mundane threats. Keep your family and others safe by following these tips.
1. Carve With Care
Jack-o-lanterns are great fun, and children and adults alike enjoy scooping out the stringy insides and carving a spooky or silly face on the front. However, the sharp knives that you need to carve the pumpkin can be a problem.
You can lessen your family’s risks by making sure you have the proper equipment. Get a knife specifically made for pumpkin carving instead of using a paring knife from your kitchen. The right knife will go through the pumpkin without too much force, so the knife is less likely to get stuck or to be pushed into someone’s hand accidentally.
If your kids are little, help them with the carving. Small children don’t have the coordination necessary for safe pumpkin carving. Your child can’t do other tasks, though-once you’ve opened the pumpkin, have your child scoop out the inside. Your child can also draw the face he or she wants on the pumpkin while you handle the knife.
2. Choose Safe Costumes
When kids go trick-or-treating, they do a lot of walking, so their costumes have to be safe, especially for very excited youngsters who like to run.
If your child dresses up as a ghost, princess, or anything else with a long, baggy skirt or robe, make sure the hem isn’t too long. Your child could trip on it otherwise. Usually, these small falls aren’t dangerous, but they will be annoying-your child will drop his or her candy bag, if nothing else, and may get dirty or bruised. In truly unlucky falls, your child could knock out a tooth or get a black eye. Hem the dress or robe to keep your child safe.
Many costumes include masks, which your child may love. Masks are fine, but make sure that your child can still see clearly. You don’t want your kid to run into things or be unable to see cars. If the mask your child wants obscures his or her vision, have him or her only wear it when you approach the door to trick-or-treat. When you walk between houses, take the mask off.
3. Be Wary of Cars
The biggest danger to children during trick-or-treating is cars. Statistically, Halloween is a dangerous day for kids and cars. Children are twice as likely to get hit that night as on most other nights for these reasons:
More children are out walking on Halloween than normal.
Many children are too excited to pay attention to cars and may cross the street without looking.
Many children wear black costumes, which blend in at night.
Some adults drive home drunk after attending Halloween parties, making them inattentive to the road.
To keep your small children safe, go trick-or-treating with them and keep them on the sidewalk. If you trust your older children to be careful, you can send them out with a group of friends. Never send a child alone.
To make your family more visible, look at what your children are wearing. If their costumes are bright and flashy, they will probably be visible from the road. However, if your children are wearing spooky, dark costumes, they need some extra protection. Add reflective strips to their costumes so they are visible to drivers. You and you children can also use flashlights as you walk.
4. Make Your Porch Safe
If you stay home to greet trick-or-treaters, you can help the children approaching your door stay safe as well. Keep your porchlight on so people know that you’re welcoming visitors and so that they can see the way to your door. Make sure that any objects people could trip on, like hoses, bikes, or gardening tools, are put away.
If you have jack-o-lanterns on your porch, think about the lighting. Traditionally, most people use a candle. If you choose a candle, make sure it’s stable and that the pumpkin isn’t in a place where it can be bumped. You don’t want the candle catching anything or anyone on fire. You can eliminate the risk by opting for an electric candle instead.
With these tips, you can keep yourself and your kids safe on Halloween. However, if an accident does happen through someone else’s carelessness, like an inattentive driver hurting your family, contact Hardee & Hardee, Attorneys at Law. We can help you get the compensation you deserve so that you or your child can heal.