Mix safety with spooky

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Halloween is the time for trick-or-treat, jack-o’-lanterns and costumes — from the adorable to the zany.

Halloween is also the time to exercise caution and implement safety measures. No one wants his or her Halloween ruined by an accident or other horrible occurrence.

Remind children about strangers. Even older trick-or-treaters might let their guard down on Halloween. Children will be ringing doorbells at homes where they don’t know the residents, so parents should go over the basics, such as not entering the homes or vehicles of any people the children and their parents don’t both know, before children head out to get their candy. It’s also a good idea for parents to give children a cellphone when they head out, just in case something happens and children need to call home. This will keep trick-or-treaters from knocking on a stranger’s door and asking to use their phone and will enable children to call home if they feel they’re not safe.

Don’t light jack-o’-lanterns. While it might seem to go against Halloween tradition, a lit jack-o’-lantern is a big safety hazard. Children often crowd onto porches in bunches when trick-or-treating, and that increases the chance a costume could catch fire. If you must light a jack-o’-lantern, light it with a light bulb that can be plugged in. That way there are no flames and if a pumpkin is kicked over the plug will likely be pulled out of the outlet in the process.

Have chaperones whenever possible. As previously mentioned, Halloween typically falls on a weekday, which means children will be out patrolling the neighborhood for candy after school. That makes it hard for families, many of which consist of two working parents, to arrange for chaperones for trick-or-treating. If possible, take the afternoon off from work to go along with your children. If you can’t do that, find a babysitter or the parent of a child’s friend to accompany everyone around the neighborhood. Halloween is not as safe as it once was, so taking extra precautions is entirely necessary.