Halloween is generally a time to let loose, embrace your creativity, and dive into the world of the weird and scary. If you are hosting an event, remember to keep these Halloween safety tips for kids and adults alike in mind.
Trick or Treating
Trick or treating is a classic activity for Halloween - one children and parents can enjoy together while teenagers sulk at home waiting to be old enough to go to parties. If your neighborhood is holding trick or treating, remember to adhere to safe practices. Keep areas well lit. A good rule of thumb for approaching homes on Halloween is to see whether the house is decorated and the front porch light is on. Do not enter property that is not participating in trick or treating.
Unless the roads are cordoned off, participants should stick to the sidewalks. Drivers should go slowly through neighborhoods and watch out for pedestrians. Pedestrians should wear costumes that can be easily seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to costumes (especially for children), carry a flashlight, cross at the proper intersections, and always make sure children are not traveling alone.
Practice basic fire safety with jack-o-lanterns: do not leave them nearby foliage, dry leaves, or paths where costumes can catch flame. Keep them out of the reach of small children. Extinguish them when they are left unattended.
After trick or treating is over, inspect children’s candy and throw out anything that looks opened or not store-bought.
Remind participants to practice basic alcohol safety. They should never leave drinks unattended. If they lose sight of their drink, they should get another one. Your guests should never drink and drive and prepare for a ride home if they are drunk.
Hydration should be easily accessible. Do not charge for water and make it easy to obtain.
If drugs are present, make sure to have a space dedicated to let people calm down.
Many cities, towns, and neighborhoods hold cordoned-off street events where participants can hang out, bar hop, and marvel at each others’ costumes. Law enforcement should be present at these events for controlling the crowd, monitoring for alcohol and drug consumption, and providing a safe environment for participants.
Most municipalities enforce open container policies - meaning no alcohol is allowed on the street. Glass containers, weapons, fireworks, and drones should be prohibited as well. If you are holding a street event, other restrictions may be helpful as well such as no paint, costume accessories that can be used or mistaken as weapons, bags (except for see-through ones), animals, and, in some cases, children.
If you are creating a haunted house, horror night, or other scare experience, remember to clearly indicate exits and entrances. While you may be worried about changing your planned aesthetic, it is important that in case of an emergency, participants can easily leave.
Make sure to warn participants with heart conditions or seizures to take caution in participating. Have medical personnel on hand in case anything happens.
Some other tidbits for medical personnel to keep in mind:
- Be vigilant - be able to tell the difference between a costume weapon and a real weapon.
- If an AED needs to be used on an unconscious patient in the field, make sure to remove any metal from the costume. While most people do not wear metal in their everyday clothes (except for jewelry and bras), there is a much stronger possibility that a Halloween costume will contain metal. Remember to remove any metal from a patient’s body before using an AED.
- If a neck injury occurs, do not remove any masks or headwear. There is a chance you may exacerbate the injury or destabilize the neck.
Check out our blog posts on Barbecue Fire Safety and Risk Management for more information on keeping your holiday event safe. If you have any more questions on how to make your holiday event safe, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.