Have a Hazard-Free Halloween
October 13, 2023
When we think of Halloween, we picture children laughing in colorful costumes, jack-o'-lanterns glowing in windows and buckets brimming with candy and treats. However, experts warn there are also increased safety hazards and risks associated with this fun-filled night. If your kids are going door-to-door trick-or-treating, follow these basic precautions to ensure the evening is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Costume safety tips
Follow these costume safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Every part of the costume—masks, beards, wigs and clothing—should be made of flame-resistant material. In the event that a child bumps up against a burning candle, such materials will quickly extinguish themselves. When purchasing a store-bought costume, look for a label that says "flame-resistant."
- Choose costumes without big, loose sleeves, skirts, or pant legs to lessen the chance of coming into contact with an open flame. Costumes should also be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
- Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape.
- To easily see and be seen, children should carry flashlights.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother's high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
- Hats and scarves should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
Home safety tips
- Leave your front lights on so trick-or-treaters may have a well-lit path to your door.
- Remove items such as planters, hoses and lawn decorations so your visitors don't trip on them.
- Keep pets inside, out of harm's way.
- Place candle-lit jack-o'-lanterns far away from the door, so trick-or-treaters won't accidentally brush against them. Keep your indoor jack-o'-lanterns away from curtains and any decorations that could catch fire.
- The CPSC recommends against using candle-lit Halloween luminaries along your walkway; instead, place flashlights inside the bags.
In addition to following these helpful safety tips, consider getting your annual flu shot and COVID-19 booster before the start of the holiday season. This is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 and flu. You can get the vaccines at your local pharmacy or find locations near you by visiting vaccines.gov or vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.