Here are some tips to ensure that you and your children have a safe and fun Halloween night.
Health and safety experts say you should remember these tips:
• Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
• Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.
• Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
• Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
• If the tag says “Indoor Use Only,” keep it inside. Halloween lends itself to electronic products that leap into action when someone crosses a motion detector’s beam. Many of these more modern “scare in a box” items suck up a healthy dose of electricity, are controlled by fairly delicate electronics, and aren’t cheap. Even if you make every effort to duct tape the connections and ground the plugs, your liability is huge if you ignore such a simple direction. (The same goes for lighting kits and other electrical decorations.)
• Have a clear path in and out of the candy distribution area. No power cords. No tie-lines for inflatable props. Keep the path clear.
• The more expensive and/or delicate the item, the farther it should be out of reach and the more protected it should be. You can display your best Halloween toys and still protect them. A hacked-together cemetery fence will cost you no more than some screws and PVC pipe, can add to the general spookiness, and can help keep your precious ghouls out of the reach of guests most prone to fumbling.
• Do a Halloween Runway Show with your kids – or even yourself – to make sure the costume offers full mobility and trim as needed. Also, make sure junior isn’t overloaded. Part and parcel of some characters may be the wand, light saber or baseball bat he or she carries, but add in a candy carrying receptacle and see how well your kid maneuvers around the living room.
• Consider how well the child can see inside the mask. Sometimes, a couple snips can clear out a big range of vision. Likewise, consider how well your child can be seen at night in their costume by motorists, haunted house owners, and other Trick-or-Treaters.
• Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
• Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you.
• Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.
• Only walk on sidewalks or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.
• Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
• Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Otherwise, stay outside.