Posted by Claudia Grazioso on October 28, 2011
Every Halloween, parents spend a lot of time worrying about how to keep their children safe when they are off on the trick-or-treating trail. But it’s also important to think about Halloween safety around your own home, for all of the little goblins who come knocking. The American Association of Pediatrics has some suggestions that mostly seem to boil down to common sense. But who doesn’t need a reminder now and then?
If you have been putting off raking all of the leaves off of your front path, now is the time to do it. Kids can slip on wet leaves, or stumble and trip over small branches that they can’t see. Get out the rake and broom and clean up those leaves. Additionally, now would be a good time to clear away all of the toys and decorations that small children could trip over.
If traditional jack-o-lanterns are part of your outside Halloween décor, consider a non-traditional way to light them up. Use a glow stick or a flashlight if you can, as both of these are much safer alternatives than an open flame. If you have to use a candle, consider a votive in its own glass holder as it is less likely to fall over and the flame is at least somewhat contained.
And here’s one we don’t always think about: You may well have the friendliest dog on the face of the earth, but Fido still shouldn’t be the one to greet small children at the door. Some kids are easily frightened of dogs, and even the most well-intentioned animal can knock a child down. One of our kids was once taken out by a zealously wagged tail — and all this without creepy costumes. Keep pets away from the front door.
Finally, a little family safety reminder: Not every scary-looking person on the street on Halloween is pretending. If anyone comes to your door and claims to need to use a phone or a bathroom, offer to place a call on a cell phone or direct them to the nearest gas station. Don’t ever let a stranger into your home… And that goes for parents, too.