Halloween Safety Tips
Jack-O’ Lantern Fun and Trick or Treating Safety
You've probably noticed that the warm Summer air is now cool and the sound of once green leaves crunching as you walk. For some it's a time to pull out the fall sweaters and to cuddle up with some hot apple cider but for others this time of year means one thing, Halloween.
Halloween is arguably one of the most fun holidays. There's always a ton to do like haunted houses, corn mazes, trick or treating, and my favorite - Decorating.
Decorating is a good time for friends and family to come together for some fun. One of the most popular and easy to do are Jack-O' Lanterns. While the backstory of the Jack-O' Lantern is unknown it's been around for centuries. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind to keep your pumpkin carving a good time and not a nightmare
- Wear gloves when using knives and other carving tools. (Fake blood is scary enough)
- Clear any leaves of other debris from area
- Don't place pumpkins in high traffic areas to prevent them from being bumped or trick or treaters costumes from catching fire.
- Don't place lids back on pumpkins if there is not at least 2 inches of space between the flame and the lid
- Consider using fake candles or lights in place of a real flame.
Now SERVPRO of Fayette County wants to refer to some safety tips. Trick or treat with care.
Before your children start trick-or-treating, review these safety rules:
- Get in on the fun. Accompany trick-or-treaters younger than age 12. Pin a piece of paper with your child's name, address and phone number inside your child's pocket in case you get separated. Encourage older kids to trick or treat with friends, parents or older siblings. Make sure someone in the group has a flashlight with fresh batteries.
- Set ground rules. If your child will be trick-or-treating without you, plan a familiar route and set a curfew. Review safety rules, including staying with the group, walking only on the sidewalk, approaching only clearly lit homes, and never going inside a home or car for a treat. Have your child carry a cellphone.
- Inspect treats before indulging. Don't let your child snack while he or she is trick-or-treating. Feed your child an early meal before heading out, and inspect the treats before your child eats them. Discard anything that's not sealed, has torn packaging or looks questionable. If you have young children, weed out gum, peanuts, hard candies and other choking hazards. If your child has food allergies, check candy labels carefully.
- Ration the loot. If your child collects lots of goodies, consider doling out a few pieces at a time. You might ask your child if he or she would like to swap some — or all — of the candy for something else, such as a toy, book or outing.
Stay safe and sweet on the home front:
To prepare for trick-or-treaters:
- Clean up. Put away tripping hazards, such as garden hoses, toys and bikes. Clear wet leaves, snow or other debris from the sidewalk.
- Turn the lights on. Replace burned-out bulbs to ensure visibility at the walkway and front door.
- Control your pets. Take no chances that your pet might be frightened and chase or bite a child at your door.
- Consider sugar substitutes. Instead of handing out sweets, try stickers, fun pencils, rubber insects or colored chalk.
If trick or treating isn't right for your child, consider planning a candy swap party with friends or neighbors. You might have a food-free costume contest and plan games and prizes. Or check local schools or community centers for other options.
And if you'll be driving on Halloween, watch for children crossing the street. Be especially careful entering or leaving driveways and alleys. Extra caution can help ensure Halloween safety for everyone.
Tracie "Dusty" Nichols