With children up to four times more likely to be involved in a car accident on October 31 than on any other day of the year, Halloween can be far scarier than you think.
Darker nights coupled with an increase in the numbers of young children trick or treating has combined to create a road safety nightmare. Not only this, but Halloween can be frightening in other ways too with children far more likely to experience burns or come into contact with choking hazards than at any other time.
With the big day now less than a week away, Acorn Safety Services’ Health and Safety Manager John Crockett has put together his top tips for ensuring Halloween is full of treats – and far less tricks – for you and your family this year.
Halloween – make road safety a top priority
With Halloween taking place just days after the end of the British Summer Time the days have suddenly got even shorter.
Before heading out on Halloween night think carefully about road safety and the steps you can take to keep your children safe.
“Before you leave the house, make sure you plan a route keeping to well lit areas wherever possible,” says John.
“Wear reflective clothing and make sure that all children under the age of 12 are accompanied by an adult.
“When it comes to costumes, make sure children are comfortable and wearing well-fitting shoes and that their costumes are not covering their faces. Also check that any costumes carry a UKCA or CE mark – this proves that the costume has been tested to the highest possible fire safety standards.
“If children over the age of 12 are heading out alone, set a curfew and ensure they are carrying a fully-charged mobile phone so they can contact you easily in an emergency.”
More treats and less tricks
In the UK, we’re expected to spend a monster £777 million on Halloween this year making it the third largest shopping event of the year behind Christmas and Black Friday.
That means an awful lot of sweets, pumpkin lanterns and haunting displays outside many homes.
While it may look amazing, the potential for accidents is actually extremely high, with unattended candles and trip hazards a very real concern.
John said: “If you’re handing out sweets, make sure the wrappers are intact and make sure your drive, path and doorstep are clear. Consider switching on an outside light to make the area even safer and move pets away from the front door.
“Avoid using candles – inside the home or out – as they can easily cause fires if they are left burning unattended. Outside they are just as dangerous as they can easily be forgotten and catch costumes with potentially devastating results.
“When it comes to the all-important treats be aware of allergies and avoid nuts wherever you can.
“And if your child is trick or treating make sure they only take sweets from people – or homes – that they know. Always make sure you are respectful of others and never visit the homes of people who you know don’t want to be disturbed.
“No-one wants to spoil the fun of Halloween for anyone, but it really does help to spend just a few moments to consider the advice and make sure your night out is as safe as possible for everyone.
“And if you’re hosting a larger Halloween event and need our help with risk assessments don’t hesitate to give our friendly team a call today on 01604 930380.”