It's hard to dispute that trick-or-treating and Halloween go together like bread and butter. Though the act of dressing up in costume and collecting treats may be synonymous with the holiday, proper attention should be paid to make sure that Halloween stays safe for all involved. Whether you are accompanying your children on a neighborhood candy route or simply spending the evening with some friends, it is absolutely vital that safety remains the top priority for both people and pets.
In an effort to spread awareness for Halloween safety, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a helpful acronym to aid individuals in remembering key safety precautions.
Swords and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Always travel in groups or with a responsible adult.
Fasten reflective tape or other accessories to costumes in order to be visible to motorists.
Examine all treats for signs of tampering before consumption.
Hold a flashlight when trick-or-treating to light the way and make yourself visible to others.
Always test make-up in small amounts before full application to make sure there are no complications.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
Lower potential eye injury risk by avoiding decorative contact lenses.
Only walk on sidewalks or to the absolute farthest edge of the road facing traffic.
Wear appropriately-sized costumes to avoid potential injury.
Eat only treats that are factory-wrapped.
Enter homes only with the permission and accompaniment of a responsible adult, and only visit well-lit homes.
Never walk near lit candles and only wear costumes that are flame-resistant.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has also released some tips and guidelines for parents looking to keep their children as healthy as possible through Halloween.
- Providing children with a hearty meal before trick-or-treating will help discourage them from eating a large amount of candy and other treats.
- Contemplate handing out items such as coloring books and pencils to trick-or-treaters instead of edible treats.
- Always wait until arriving home to fully inspect and sort through acquired treats.
- Keep all treats in one place and limit the amount that children consume in subsequent days.
The Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NCSPCA) has compiled a list of helpful tips to keep your pets safe and secure during Halloween.
- Be very careful with pet costumes; only dress up your dog or cat if you know that he/she will approve. Ensure that the costume doesn't restrict your pet's movement or ability to breathe, and avoid dangling accessories altogether, as they can pose a serious choking hazard.
- Make sure that pets are kept inside and safe during Halloween. Animals that are left in the yard or roaming the neighborhood can be harmed or run-off due to unforeseen circumstances. Likewise, pets should be kept in a separate area of the house to avoid unwanted contact with trick-or-treaters.
- Halloween treats should be kept out of reach of pets at all times. Chocolate can be poisonous to animals, and pets can choke on various wrappers and plastics.
- Use battery-powered candles for Jack-o-lanterns instead of potentially dangerous lit candles. Not only can a pet be burned by the fire, but simply knocking over one of these candles can lead to a serious fire situation.
Know of any other tips for keeping Halloween safe for all?
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Photo by Jorn Straten, via Free Images.