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Halloween safety tips to make the night a little less scary.

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You’ve draped the house with creepy cobwebs…turned your front yard into a gruesome graveyard…and bought enough candy to last until Santa comes (and brings more). You’re ready for Halloween, right? Well, maybe not. Check out these Halloween safety tips to make sure nothing really scary happens this October 31.

Tips for a harmlessly haunted house:

  • If you’ve purchased any electric decorations for your house or lawn, look for the UL mark on the package. This certifies that they’ve been rigorously tested for safety by Underwriters Laboratories. A red UL mark means that the decoration is safe for indoor and outdoor use; green indicates it’s safe for indoor use only.
  • Use battery-operated candles instead of real flames in jack-o-lanterns to prevent fires.
  • Secure any railings little ghosts and ghouls may use to get up to your front door.
  • Clear away any tripping or slipping hazards from your walkway and front yard, such as electrical cords, hoses or sprinklers.
  • Make sure your home and walkway are well-lit.
  • Contain your pets. Even the friendliest dog or cat can scare a small child – and send them running into possible danger.
  • Make sure your homeowners’ insurance policy is up to date – just in case there’s an accident for which you could be liable.

Your house is safely spooky, and the big night is almost here. Follow the rest of these Halloween safety tips for scare-proof trick or treating.

Safety in disguise:

  • Make sure kids’ costumes are flame retardant.
  • Choose costumes that fit snugly. Too-large costumes can drag and be a tripping hazard.
  • Opt for face paint and makeup over masks. Masks can make it harder for kids to see where they’re going. Only use makeup labeled “non-toxic” and test it in advance to ensure that it doesn’t irritate skin.
  • Choose flexible props – foam swords, plastic fairy wands, etc. – to avoid possible injury to your child or others.
  • Choose lighter-colored costumes when possible. Put reflective tape on darker costumes for visibility.
  • Wear glow-stick necklaces and/or bracelets for visibility.
  • Bring a flashlight.

It’s who you know:

  • Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult or teen sibling for trick-or-treating.
  • Tell kids never to enter a strange house or accept a ride from someone they don’t know.
  • Kids should trick-or-treat only at houses that have lights on. You can also check with your community’s website for its official Halloween participating guidelines.
  • Even older kids shouldn’t go out alone – make sure they’re with a group of friends.

First collection, then inspection:

  • Tell kids not to eat any of their candy until they get home, so you can look it over.
  • Discard any candy that has damaged or open wrappers, or no wrappers at all.
  • Discard homemade treats unless you’re sure which neighbor it came from.

Follow these tips, and your little goblins will be safely gobblin’ up their treasures at the end of the night.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!