With a notably large asteroid (between 300 to 600 yards wide) dubbed “The Great Pumpkin” flying past our planet this weekend, staying safe this Halloween haunts many parents’ minds.
While Asteroid 2015 TB145 is not likely to hit Earth, parents should be prepared to protect their families from smaller scale accidents while they’re out trick-or-treating. To help out, we’ve put together a list of the seven best Halloween safety tips for your family.
1) Make Sure Others can See You!
Nothing screams “scary costume” like black. But if you’re out trick-or-treating with your children, you want them to be visible to vehicles and even other trick-or-treaters. Give your children inexpensive flashlights to carry and apply reflecive tape to their costumes and treat bags in places where drivers can easily see it.
Glow sticks are also effective and children love their eerie magical light — just remember that you can’t re-use or recycle them.
2) Make Sure You can See Others!
Halloween masks shouldn’t obscure your child’s vision so they can’t see where they are going. Since masks with small eye-holes can block peripheral vision, this limits your child’s field of vision to only what’s directly in front of them. That can be very dangerous, particularly at street intersections. To be safe, make the eye holes on these masks larger so your child can see better.
Some masks can also amplify the wearer’s breathing sounds while muffling other sounds around them. If your child has trouble hearing what’s going on around them, have them raise the mask from their faces while they walk between houses.
An alternative to wearing masks is makeup or face paint. Because the US FDA permits that cosmetics and face paint can contain lead and other metals in levels thought to be unsafe for children, use hypo-allergenic organic face paint.
3) Safety Check the Costume Fabric
Flammable costumes near candle-lit Jack o’-lanterns are a parent’s worst Halloween nightmare. While most adults know that flammable costumes are dangerous for their child, few know what to look for to determine flammability. US law requires all clothing fabrics to be flame resistant and accessories and toys also meet flammability requirements.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that adults read the garment tags before buying costumes and to buy “synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester because these materials are less likely to ignite, will resist burning, and will extinguish more quickly if they do ignite.” Costumes should also fit well and not drag on the ground since this could cause your child to trip.
4) Walk – Don’t Run! – from House to House
Even though trick-or-treating can border on the intrepid swiftness of a Delta Force special operation, it’s a matter of safety to keep your gang of ghouls where they can walk safely. There’s no need to run. Many homeowners decorate their yards with Halloween decorations and these could easily trip a child running in costume. Keep your children from running across yards in the dark. Stay on the sidewalks and let other trick-or-treaters pass by. If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Also remind older children to allow a little extra time for younger kids to keep up.
5) Inspect the Treats when You Get Home
While research data suggests that deliberate Halloween candy tampering is something of a media-fabricated myth, it never hurts to err on the safe side. Candy should also be checked over to be sure it is free of things that trigger allergic reactions, contains other ingredients you believe are unsafe, or to see if there are kinds your child just doesn’t like.
This is also a good time for you to set rules for when and how much candy your child can eat and — to be honest— scope out a few morsels you can mooch for yourself. C’mon, we all do it.
6) Only Visit Homes that are Well-lit
It’s a classic rule: Homes with a porch light on welcome trick-or-treaters. If the house is dark, move on to the next one.
7) Don’t Let Your Child Trick-or-Treat Alone
Younger children should be always accompanied by an adult. For older children, it’s safer to go in a group. If your kids does go with a group, make sure have an idea of their route and ensure that one of them carries a fully charged cell phone.
One more thing— Costume contact lenses need a prescription. They might look incredible and have a great price but costume contact lens that are not properly fitted can injure your eyes and lead to serious eye-health problems, including infections and lasting damage. All contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the US FDA and require a valid prescription.
We hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!