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Trick or Treat, it’s Halloween!

Your Guide to Maximize Ghouls and Minimize (Boo) Boos

If you’re anything like my colleague, you love all things Halloween. You have your Nightmare Before Christmas screensaver, Freddy Krueger Crocs, and coordinated family costumes prepared by September 1st…at the latest! Maybe you’re not that gung-ho about the holiday, but most people like a reason to dress up for a night of fright, fun, and candy. Halloween has even more to offer. There’s the décor, the Jack-o-lanterns, and really frightening those trick or treaters. Be still my heart!

But, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics publications, Halloween is the fourth most dangerous night of the year for kids. Especially kids under five. I’m looking to not only have fun but avoid injuries this Halloween. With twin four-year olds under my wing – nothing says boo, like boo-boo. 

Keep your night of treats from getting too tricky. From candy and costumes to pet and pumpkins, Halloween frights come in all sizes. Keep yourself and others from getting ghoulish boo boos on the most fun night of the year.

Here are some tips and tricks to having the most injury-free fun during Halloween this year.

Boo Boo #1 – Pumpkins

Oh, my gourd! What’s all the fuss about? Pumpkin carving or decorating can result in cuts, burns, and tripping. What can you do to keep the pumpkin carving a treat?

  • Keep knives in the hands of adults
    • Keep those adult hands sober, in a well-lit area with carving knives
  • Let kids draw designs and scoop pumpkin guts
  • Use battery powered candles
    • They are about as bright as tea-light candles and reusable
  • Have your portable fire extinguisher charged and nearby
    • Now is a great time to buy one and teach fire safety to your family
  • Keep Jack-o-lanterns out of the walking path and away from the house

Boo Boo #2 – Costumes

Is your look cute, spooky, or something else? Most people participate in Halloween with costumes or disguises. How can you avoid really looking like an ER patient?

  • Buy costumes that are short enough to avoid tripping on
  • Ensure you and yours can see well out of hood or masks
  • Check the ingredients on face/body paint/fabrics to avoid allergic reactions
    • Many Halloween paint products are very cheaply produced
  • Check for flame retardants
    • Many costumes are flammable
    • Ensure you know stop, drop, and roll just in case

Boo Boo #3 – Decorating

It is unfortunate that the most fun part of the holiday can be so darn dangerous! But, the décor you use, its location, and your inspection will affect weather you get tricked or treated this Halloween.

  • Steady your ladder
    • Ladder falls really hurt, work with a partner to decorate up top
  • Consider fire safety
    • Is your décor blocking walkways or exits?
    • Is the wiring frayed or damaged?
    • Are you using fire to fuel your décor?
  • If you are using real candles
    • Set a timer to remind you to blow them out before you go to bed
    • Check that you fire extinguisher is charged (the gauge is in green)
    • Check labels that your extinguisher has been maintenanced in the past 6 years
    • Check that your fire extinguisher is in a central location
    • Teach everyone in your home how to use the fire extinguisher (see extinguisher label for instructions)

Boo Boo #4 – Pets

I know pets aren’t children, technically…but they are definitely better listeners. Some even like to participate in the festivities. Whether you have them or not, here’s how to avoid cat-tastrophe:

  • Know your pet, don’t force them to participate it they are not comfortable
  • Check labels for pet outfits and make up
  • Keep your pet firmly leashed or crated to avoid a runaway pet
  • Keep candy and decorations away from your pet

Boo Boo #5 – Treats

A tried-and-true subject of contention – are people really putting scary stuff in the candy bucket? Probably not, most incidents in the 1970s-1980s were falsely reported. But it can’t hurt to be safe. How can you be reasonably assured those treats are safe? Besides, you want to eat candy too.

  • Read the label
  • Check that candies are unopened
  • Give candies a smell check
  • Be with your child as they consume their candy
  • Offer candy alternatives (such as toys, temporary tattoos, or toothbrushes)
  • Throw out any questionable looking, smelling, or unmarked candies

Now you are ready to rock the Halloween season safely. Happy haunting.


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