It’s that time of year again! Halloween is an evening full of fun, excitement, and a little mischief—don’t worry about what could go wrong. Instead, embrace these eight Halloween safety tips to keep your home, your kids, and your trick-or-treaters safe.
1. Tidy up the yard. Inspect the path from the sidewalk to your front door, making sure the way is free of obstructions or hazards. Keep your eye out for loose porch railings, uneven walkway stones, unruly trees and shrubs, etc. If you have outdoor pets, don’t forget to scoop droppings. Look out for holes in your lawn and sharp edges on the path to your door. All of these potential hazards may be easy to spot and avoid in the daylight but, at night, everyone’s vision is impaired.
2. Double-check your homeowners insurance coverage. We get it, this is probably the last thing on your mind. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you reviewed this information? While it probably wasn’t on your Halloween to-do list, don’t ignore this task. Opening your home to strange visitors can expose you to potential claims and lawsuits. It’s important to make sure your property is adequately insured so that you’re better prepared in the event of an incident that requires legal involvement.
3. How long is too long? Before your kid goes out collecting candy, check the length of their costume. Kids are more likely to trip and fall on a long superhero cape or floor-length princess gown, especially in the dark. If your child’s costume is longer than ankle-length, it may be wise to pin up the hem or exchange it for a shorter costume.
4. Be wise when you accessorize. Swords and sabres, wands and weapons—many Halloween costumes come with some sort of pointy accessory. Opt for such items made of soft material, like foam, and no sharp edges. Even if your kid is responsible, injuries are more likely to happen in the dark when sharp accessories are involved.
5. Make it fire-resistant. While this may not be high on your Halloween checklist, it’s important. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, open flame is one of the leading causes of reported Halloween fires. Walkways lined with jack-o-lanterns and porches lit by candles pose the biggest fire hazard to your child. Check the costume tag before you buy and make sure it’s made of fire-resistant material. This includes accessories like wigs and beards and costumes decorated with spray-on glitter and spray paint.
6. Other costume factors to consider. Choose a costume and shoes that fit your child well. Baggy and loose clothing can be a frustrating distraction and that’s the last thing your kid wants to worry about. Avoid costumes with a lot of accessories that might complicate the evening or cause a potential accident. If your child is potty training, make sure they can get in and out of their costume quickly when the need for a bathroom break arises.
7. Stand out in the dark. In all the fun and excitement of Halloween, it’s not unusual for kids to get rowdy and run around. Help them become more visible to street traffic by adding reflective tape to different places on their costume. Give them a flashlight or creatively incorporate glowsticks in a way that makes sense with your kid’s costume.
8. Not now, Fido. If you have a pet who is easily scared or excitable, it may be in everyone’s best interest to put them away for the evening. Confining them to a separate room or a cage, if they have one, will keep them from bothering the kids at your door. This approach is also helpful if your pet is easily spooked and prone to dart out the front door.
This Halloween is sure to be a scary good time when you practice these eight Halloween safety tips with your family.