Halloween is on our doorstep, bringing treats and spooky fun for people of all ages. However, as with any celebration, tonight isn’t only about dressing up and collecting sweets. In order to get the most out of your plans, you should also be aware of some of the dangers that could make tonight genuinely scary. Knowing what to look out for will help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of Halloween safety tips for every occasion.
Halloween Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters
Putting together your costume and going door to door in search of candy is one of the most memorable parts of Halloween. There are a few things to remember that can make your quest significantly easier, whether you’re just going on your first trip or escorting younger friends or family.
Walk on the Sidewalk
As it gets darker, drivers may find it harder and harder to see you. Where possible, stay on the sidewalk to be safe from traffic. If there is no sidewalk, then you should walk on the side facing traffic. Stay as close to the edge as you can, so that you can quickly move out of the way if you need to. Consider also adding flashlights or reflective material to your outfit to increase visibility.
Stay Together and Keep In Touch
When wearing costumes that cover much of your face and body, it can become difficult to identify specific people. This means that you can lose track of the people you are traveling with. Avoid trick-or-treating in unfamiliar areas or with unfamiliar people, so that anyone who becomes separated can easily find their way back to a designated meeting point. If you can’t easily find each other, have a plan to get in touch via cell phone. Having several numbers to call in case of emergency will make it much easier for everyone to find each other.
Save your Candy
It can be very tempting to eat your haul as you go, but there are a few reasons to wait until you have safely returned home. The primary concern is that candy may have been opened, spoiled, or tampered with. While it is very uncommon, it is not entirely unheard of for candy to have gone bad for various reasons. Taking the time to check is a good way to make sure nobody gets sick, and gives you a chance to show off your impressive pile of treats.
Tips for Parents
Whether you’re walking with them or helping assemble their costume, there are a number of ways for parents to help make Halloween a safer, more enjoyable experience.
Working with knives and saws can be very dangerous. Never let young children carve their own pumpkin, and be sure to supervise older children while they make theirs. If your child wants to help create your ghastly gourd, let them sketch out the face in marker for you to carve afterwards. Additionally, consider glow sticks or small candles for lighting your Jack-o-Lantern. Large candles may represent a fire hazard.
Costumes and Visibility
The sun sets during the prime trick-or-treating hours. As streets get darker, drivers may be less likely to spot pedestrians. Help your kids add reflective tape to their outfits, or provide them with glow sticks and flashlights to increase their visibility. It can also be very beneficial to teach them precautions for safely crossing the street or dealing with traffic. Make sure they know not to dart out into the street, look both ways before crossing, and make eye contact with drivers to ensure they both know the other is there.
Plan the Route
If you don’t expect to be escorting your children, help them come up with a detailed plan for the night. Go over the route they are going to take, and educate them on what to do in case of various emergencies. Make sure that they can get in touch with you and one other responsible adult in case they need anything.
Driving through residential areas on Halloween can be dangerous. The substantial increase in pedestrian traffic will make roads more crowded and difficult to navigate. Excitable children or intoxicated party-goers may suddenly run into the road, leaving you with almost no time to stop. Safe driving is crucial to prevent the injuries of others.
Many Halloween parties aimed at adults may serve alcohol or liquor. While these parties can be responsibly enjoyed, it is vital that you don’t drive drunk. Intoxicated driving is one of the most serious threats on Halloween. Make use of a designated driver system, or allow for enough time to pass that you can be fully sober by the time you leave.
Be Careful in Neighborhoods
Much of the activity on the night of Halloween will be happening in residential areas, as children go house-to-house in search of candy. Be especially careful when driving through neighborhoods between 5:30 PM and 9:30 PM. The large bulk of pedestrian activity will be during that time. Always make use of headlights to aid visibility, and pay extra attention to children who are not watching for traffic.
Be Safe, Have Fun
Halloween only comes around once per year, bringing a great deal of delight with it. Make sure that tonight is a fun night for all, and do your part to make the festivities safer for everyone. Apply common sense, practice Halloween safety!
Lafayette Parish Trick-or-Treat Schedule
Broussard: October 31, 6:00 to 8:00
Carencro: October 31, 6:00 to 8:00
Duson: October 31, 6:00 to 8:00
Lafayette: October 31, 6:00 to 8:00
Scott: October 31, 6:00 to 8:00
Youngsville: October 31, 6:00 to 8:00