The celebration of Halloween has been around for more than a thousand years. Originally a religious observance, today Halloween is considered a holiday for dress-up and fun, especially for children. By 1950, trick-or-treating for candy had become one of Halloween’s most popular activities. Halloween is observed on October 31, and it is one of the biggest holidays for candy sales in the United States, estimated to be more than $3 billion according to the National Retail Federation.
Halloween is a highlight of the year for many children and even adults. Dressing up in vibrant costumes, walking around the local neighborhood and trick-or-treating for candy, or attending Halloween-themed parties is fun for everyone. Following key safety tips will help families enjoy their activities safely. These safety tips include:
- Wear ‘flame resistant’ costumes (check the label).
- Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape to make you more visible.
- Wear makeup and hats rather than costume masks than can obscure your vision.
- Test the makeup a day or two ahead of time to avoid rash, swelling, or irritation.
- Don’t wear decorative and colored contact lenses due to risk of eye injury.
- Food safety is very important; do not eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
- Be aware of food allergens; do not accept or eat anything that is not commercially wrapped.
- Remove any possible choking hazards from bags of very young children.
- Throw away any treats that appear suspicious or have been tampered with.
Safety is also paramount out on the streets and roads in local communities. Trick-or-Treaters are often traveling in vehicles or walking on sidewalks and crossing streets. In addition, these activities often take place in darkness, which presents even more safety hazards. Some tips to consider include:
- Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks, and look both ways.
- Keep your head up and walk and do not bury your head in an electronic device.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
- Walk on sidewalks or paths whenever possible.
- Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
- Adults should provide supervision for trick-or-treaters under age 12.
- If no adults are present, encourage children to trick-or-treat in groups.
- Drive with extreme caution when traveling with trick-or-treaters and take extra time.