A Safe Halloween

Family Holiday Safety Tips

Article by Trudy Allen | 2-3 min read

 

Happy Kids Halloween Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels

 

So many urban myths exist that might scare parents off allowing their children to go Trick or Treating.  And the Corona Pandemic may be an additional worry to your list.   But practised safely and with caution, Halloween 2020 can still be fun.

The National Safety Council  has a useful list of tips and safety measures.

 

Costume Safety

  • Check ingredients to make sure any face-paint or make-up is nontoxic before you buy it. Face-paint doesn’t require FDA approval as it’s not considered make-up and it can contain lead, formaldehyde, mercury and parabens! Dr Alan Levy, of Levy Dermatology in Memphis, Tennessee advises “Look for paints with natural pigments from fruits, vegetables and flowers” and recommends face-paint by Natural Earth Paint, Elegant Minerals, and Go Green.
  • In 2017, 5% of Halloween injuries were due to allergic reactions to face-paints and make-up. Last year’s partly used make-up can also cause problems, having grown bacteria in the 12 months that it’s been stored away.  Always test a small area on your child’s skin first and make sure you clean any face-paint or make-up off thoroughly before the children go to bed.
  • Try to ensure wigs, costumes and any accessories are fire-resistant

 

Parade Safety

Halloween is the worst day of the year for traffic accidents involving children who, out of excitement or because of the dark, may not practice road safety as well as normal.   Costumes can also impact on their visibility, blocking their usual blindspots.

  • Remind Children not to use their phones whilst walking, keep their heads up and to fully check the street, roads and driveways before crossing.
  • Fasten reflective tape to their costumes, goodie bags, or give them glow sticks to hold, so they are more visible to drivers.
  • Try to encourage your children not to eat their candy or treats until they are back at home. This can be another distraction for children, rooting around in the bag for a particular treat, and reason for them not paying full attention to their surroundings.
  • If your children are older, sit down and plan an agreed route and explain, if necessary, why it is important to stick to that route. Also, agree a time for them to be home by. 
  • Encourage older children to contact you by phone, if they receive an invitation to join friends, so you can agree how they do this and what time you will pick them up from their new finish location. Or veto this possibility from the start, so they are clear what their boundaries are.
  • If your children are younger you should ensure that you or another responsible adult is going with them. Personally, I love to dress up so would always join them.
  • Remind your children never to enter a stranger's home or car
  • Children have a habit of scaring themselves about a particular house, or the person who lives in it, because they are ‘different’, not especially friendly or always shouting at them. Talk to your children about not targeting that house or person for ‘scares’.
  • Remind your children that not everyone enjoys or agrees with Halloween. This may include telling them not to knock at houses that are in darkness, or which have signs up saying ‘no trick or treaters’.

 

Happy treating people!

 

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