How to Stay Safe this Halloween

Halloween is an exciting time for kids — costumes, candy… need we say more? But, Halloween is also a time that many avoidable injuries and accidents can happen. Sadly, there are 3,800 Halloween-related injuries each year, and children are twice as likely to be killed in a traffic accident on Halloween than any other night. Scary, right?

We want individuals and families to stay as safe as possible this Halloween, so here are some safety tips you should heed.

Safety Tips for Halloween Costumes

One of the first considerations for Halloween safety should be the costumes you choose. Make sure you start off on the right foot with these tips.

  • Choose fire-resistant materials. Halloween is one of the most common holidays for fires. Protect your child by minimizing the risk of serious harm if they happen to get too close to an open flame. 
  • Make sure there are no tripping hazards. No part of the costume should drag on the ground or impede walking.
  • Opt for hypoallergenic makeup instead of masks, especially on young children. Masks can hinder proper vision — either by obstructing peripheral eyesight or slipping around on the face — making them dangerous to wear while walking along the streets at night.
  • No long or sharp accessories. If a costume prop includes a sword, cane, knife, or stick, keep it short, soft, and flexible. If one were to trip while carrying something long or sharp, it can easily cause serious injury. 

Halloween Safety Tips when Trick-or-Treating

Common injuries on Halloween are due to pedestrian incidents (including drunk drivers), falls, and dog attacks.

  • Children under 12 should be supervised by an adult. Don’t let them trick-or-treat alone. If older children are going unsupervised, agree on and preview the route they will take ahead of time. Remind them to always stay within a group.
  • Make visibility a priority. Take a flashlight with fresh batteries. Add reflective tape to costumes and treat bags. Use designated crosswalks when crossing the street.
  • Don’t approach dogs, even if they are on leashes or behind a gate. Some dogs can be easily frightened by costumes and become uncharacteristically aggressive.
  • Don’t allow children to eat any treats before you have inspected them. Throw away anything that is unwrapped or appears damaged.

Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners

Whether you plan to entertain trick-or-treaters or not, everyone needs to be diligent, knowing that there will be groups of children walking around at night. After all, if someone is injured on your property, you could be held liable.

  • Have the lights on. If you are welcoming trick-or-treaters, you will likely signify this by having outside lights on. But before kids even start making their rounds, you’ll want to confirm that your light is bright enough to clearly see the walkway to your door.
  • Remove tripping hazards. That hose you left lying in your yard? The electrical cord you’re using to power your Halloween decorations? Slippery leaves on the ground from the last rainfall? All of these and more can pose a hazard to people walking onto your property at night.
  • Decorate safely. Avoid open flames. Use a flashlight or glowstick instead of candles to light any carved pumpkins you may have on display.
  • Keep pets fully restrained, even if they are normally well-behaved. A bunch of intrusive strangers dressed in intimidating costumes can put even the most mild-mannered animal into defensive mode.

Stay Safe this Halloween!

Here at In and Out Express Care, we care about our community and want all of our neighbors to stay safe. By heeding the above tips, you can make a night of fun safer for all involved. If you do happen to have a minor incident, stop by one of our four urgent care centers throughout Hampton Roads and see one of our friendly doctors. There’s nothing scary about us!