Halloween Safety Tips for Kids, Adults, and College Students
Autumn brings with it cooler weather, falling leaves, and one of the most fun holidays of the year: Halloween. Long seen as a holiday for just kids, nowadays you can find all ages dressing up and enjoying this spooky season.
Tricks and treats aside, some of Halloween’s traditions can be a little dangerous. Fortunately, Mulligan Attorneys has all the tips children, parents, and students need to enjoy a Halloween that’s safe and fun!
Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
Each year around 41 million children will visit over 120 million houses on Halloween night. While the safest way for kids to trick-or-treat is with a trustworthy adult, not every child who goes out on Halloween night is supervised. If you have kids who are going out without you this Halloween, make sure you:
- Come up with a trick-or-treating plan. Outline a route for your kids to follow and establish a curfew so you know when they’ll be home.
- Make sure they have a way to contact you. If they don’t have their own cell phone, it might be a good idea to lend them one and make sure there’s an easy way for them to call you if they need you.
- Have them use the buddy system. There’s safety in numbers. Kids who are trick-or-treating without an adult present will be safer in a group than they will be alone.
- Talk about stranger danger. Go over what kids should do if they are approached by a strange adult. You should also emphasize to children that they should never accept an offer to go into someone’s house or vehicle no matter what.
- Choose costumes wisely. Encourage your child to select a light-colored costume so they’re more visible at night, or simply put some reflective tape on their costume. Kids should also avoid costumes with masks or wigs, as these can obstruct their vision and pose a safety concern.
- Always test makeup before the big night. Do a small test patch of makeup on the skin on the inside of your child’s risk to ensure they’re not allergic before you use a larger amount.
- Teach kids not to accept homemade treats. The fact of the matter is, you just don’t know what’s in homemade candies or food. It’s best to simply teach your kids to politely decline offers like this.
- Talk about pedestrian safety. Make sure kids know when and where it’s safe to cross the street.
- Give them a flashlight. It’s not a bad idea to send them off with some extra batteries as well!
- Tell them to only go to homes with their porch lights on. This is an age-old indicator of whether a house is participating in Halloween and, generally, no porch light means no candy.
- Make sure kids know what to do in an emergency. Teach them when it’s appropriate to call 9-1-1, how to do so, and what to do afterward.
- Instruct them to wait until they’re home to eat candy. It’s always best to inspect Halloween candy before eating it, and this is best done by an adult, at home, where it’s brighter and easier to see.
Halloween Party Tips for College Students
Well past their trick-or-treat years, on Halloween you can find most college kids at parties or hanging out with their friends. Students who find themselves out this Halloween should do the following:
- Follow the law. Halloween is a night where many are tempted to pull pranks or get into activities they shouldn’t. Observe the law and refrain from engaging in anything illegal, like vandalism or underage drinking. Remember, punishments for underage DWIs in North Carolina are very harsh.
- Drink responsibly. If you are of legal drinking age, make sure you do so safely. Practice moderation and never drive under the influence. Instead, find another way home by calling a friend, riding a bus, or make use of ridesharing.
- Go with a friend. It’s always safer to attend parties with someone you know than it is to go alone.
- Don’t go to/throw a party with people you don’t know. Make sure you’re comfortable with and trust whoever is attending the party or whoever you’re inviting to yours.
- Never leave your drink unattended. This is a good rule to follow any time you’re drinking, not just on Halloween. Take your drink with you everywhere you go and don’t accept drinks from strangers since you just never know what someone may try to put in your drink.
- Be strategic with your costume. For example, if you’ll be outside all evening, make sure your costume is warm. Or, if you plan on walking a lot, avoid wearing heels or costumes that restrict your movement.
Halloween Tips for Adults
Whether you don’t have kids or just don’t feel like attending/throwing a Halloween party, you may still choose to participate in the holiday. If your neighborhood hosts trick-or-treaters each year, here are some things you can do to ensure this year’s festivities go off without a hitch:
- Check your porch light to make sure it’s working. If not, replace the bulb! That’s the only way kids know whether or not your house is open for business on Halloween.
- Make sure the porch light is off if you don’t want visitors. There’s nothing worse than having multiple groups of sugar-crazed kids knocking on your door and asking for candy when you have none to give them.
- Make sure your sidewalks and driveway are clear. Clear your walkways of things like sports equipment, snow, or wet leaves to reduce the risk of someone tripping and falling.
- Keep your pets restrained. It’s best to put animals in their crates or in a separate room to ensure trick-or-treaters or party guests can avoid dog bites or cat scratches.
- Practice safe carving. If you have kids you’ll be carving pumpkins with, it’s best to let them draw the outline and do the carving yourself to avoid injuries.
- Go flameless. The last thing you want is for a knocked-over jack-o-lantern to start a fire. Consider using glow sticks or battery-operated candles instead of real ones!
- Be extra cautious while driving. Kids can be unpredictable and younger ones may run out into the road without warning. If you drive on Halloween night, stay hypervigilant, drive slowly, and don’t use your phone.
- Don’t forget about food allergies. If you are giving candy out, avoid things with nuts or soy so that kiddos with food allergies won’t have to worry as much.
Stay safe, have fun, and be responsible this spooky season. Happy Halloween from Mulligan Attorneys! And remember, if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or DWI this Halloween night, we may be able to help. Call us at 910-763-1100.