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Posted: October 10, 2016

10 ways to ensure that your Halloween is as safe as it is spooky

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            10 ways to ensure that your Halloween is as safe as it is spooky
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Joshua Trudell

The stores are full of candy and the pumpkins are fat and orange – it’s Halloween season! Here are 10 tips to help you and your trick-or-treater reach maximum candy intake.

Keep costumes safe

To quote Edna Mole in The Incredibles, “No capes!” Capes, sashes and other low-swinging, easily untied costume pieces can increase the chance of tripping and falling. Costumes and accessories should be flame-resistant and kept away from candles.

Makeup over masks

While many of the comic-book superheroes wear masks, take a cue from their cinematic counterparts and go for makeup instead. Masks can make it hard to see. Choose FDA-approved makeup and test it on a small area first to avoid serious reactions. Make sure to take it off before going to bed.

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The priority is the accessory

While your trick-or-treater will do their best to bring home a double-fisted haul of treats, it’s much safer to have one hand free for protection and balance. If they have an accessory that’s an important part of the costume, make sure it’s easy to carry and doesn’t have any sharp points.

Don’t keep the ingredients to yourself

If you’re the parent at home handing out homemade treats, make sure you tell visitors what is in them. An allergic reaction and trip to the hospital is definitely not how a parent wants to end Halloween night.

Individually wrap your candy and include a note with your name and address. In the event that the candy ends up being contaminated, your candy can be easily separated from the others.

Check out your haul before digging in

To be on the safe side, make sure your trick-or-treaters eat only factory-wrapped treats, and only after you’ve checked them for tampering. Throw away unwrapped treats and homemade treats made by people you don’t know.

Drive carefully

Trick-or-treaters can range all over streets and roads in their search for the elusive candy trove. If you’re driving in a trick-or-treating area, reduce speed and watch for rampaging hordes of candy seekers.

Walk carefully

To help out those driving around during trick-or-treating time, put reflective tape on costumes, bags, strollers, wagons, wings, landspeeders, rocket boots and any other form of pedestrian-fueled transportation you might be using. Carry a flashlight to increase visibility and reduce the risk of tripping over curbs.

Don’t go it alone

While it might be tempting for a trick-or-treater to hoard all that candy for themselves – in their Gordon Gekko costume – young candy-hunters need adult supervision. Older kids can go out in groups in well-lit, known areas, but they should check in regularly and never go door-to-door by themselves. Make sure children know your cellphone number, their home telephone number and address in case you get separated.

Lights on

While a spooky, dark house might be the best fit for a Halloween theme on the block, chances are if there are people in there, they just want to be left alone. Make sure you only knock on doors of houses with lights on, and don’t let children enter a home unless you are with them.

Don’t feed treats to the pets

All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rat, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, a subsequent loss of coordination and seizures.


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