It’s time to break out the costumes, spooky decorations and get those pumpkins carved! Halloween is almost here, and it’s a time of year children of all ages (and even some adults!) look forward to. Some of the ways we celebrate Halloween today even mirror some of the ways it was celebrated in ancient times. Halloween is said to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, where people would don costumes and light bonfires in an attempt to ward off roaming ghosts. Today, children dress up as their favorite superhero, cartoon character, animal, etc. and hit the neighborhood for some trick-or-treating, while adults may enjoy heading out with the kids or to a costume party thrown by friends.
Staying Safe this Halloween
Before you get the costume on and head out to the streets this Halloween, it’s important to keep a few Halloween safety tips in mind. Being cautious will help you avoid an accident and ensure that everyone, children and adults alike, enjoy the festivities of the evening.
Here are just a few ways to make sure you have a safe, fun Halloween:
- Avoid dark costumes. Dressing up as witch or a black cat are great traditional Halloween costumes, but on a street at nighttime it can be very difficult to see a child dressed in these dark colors. If the costume you choose involves a mostly black outfit, make sure to lighten it up with glow sticks or glow jewelry, or even stick some reflective tape on the costume.
- Limit the accessories. Things like masks, swords, wands, canes and other props might “make” the outfit, but they can also make it difficult to navigate around on a darkened street. If your costume does require props, make sure they are soft and flexible and that you can easily see out of any masks.
- Light the way. Even when a street is well-lit by streetlights, carry a flashlight with you when trick-or-treating. This helps others see you coming and will show the way when walking up a semi-darkened driveway or walkway.
- Go with a buddy. Always go trick-or-treating with a family member or friends. Parents should accompany children younger than age 12 and older kids should be encouraged to head out with a group of friends. That saying “there’s safety in numbers” is certainly true when it comes to Halloween night!
- Visit familiar areas. Stay in your own neighborhood or an area that you’re well acquainted with. This will help you avoid getting lost, plus you’ll know the majority of the people living in the homes you’ll be visiting. You should never go inside a stranger’s home, either. A good rule of thumb is that if the porch light isn’t on, don’t stop at that home. This is a sign that they either don’t welcome trick-or-treaters or no one is home.
- Check your treats. Before diving into that bag of delicious treats, a parent should carefully inspect the candy. Don’t eat any homemade treats or anything that is loose or not in a wrapper. Also, try to ration out the goods! Avoid that stomachache that will inevitably follow gorging out on your stash all at once.
- Stay alert. Both parents and children should stay alert on Halloween night. If you have to drive anywhere, take it slowly and be aware that those trick-or-treaters may dodge out unexpectedly into the street in their excitement. Children should watch for oncoming traffic and look both ways before crossing the street.
Practicing a little extra caution on Halloween will help make it a safe and fun night for everyone. Happy Halloween!