Halloween is supposed to be spooky and scary, but make sure it’s “safe scary” for kids and pets. Neighbors who are veterans of past Halloweens tell scary tales of running out of candy after being inundated with trick or treaters, some who come from other neighborhoods to trick or treat on our side-walked, tree-lined streets, and others who are guests of fellow residents hosting a Halloween party. Between tonight’s weather forecast, which calls for a 15 percent chance of rain, and the 6th game of the World Series, it’s hard to imagine there will be as many trick-or-treaters as have come in the past. But just in case, here are some safety tips that seem worth passing along to our neighbors on this Halloween eve.
Safety experts recommend that children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, they should stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.
The most popular time to trick or treat is from 5:30 to 9:30 pm. so be sure to drive carefully during those hours tonight. If you’re out walking, be sure to wear something reflective and carry a flashlight or glow stick so you can be seen.
Costumes should be creative and safe. SafeKids.com offers the following suggestions for costume safety:
- Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
- Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision
- Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
- When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
Holiday festivities can be stressful and even dangerous for your pets, reminds LA Animal Services. Even normally mellow pets can be confused and spooked by strange sounds and sights and unfamiliar people in costumes. Here are some tips to help keep your four-legged loved ones safe:
- Keep pets indoors and away from front door. Have your companion animals stay in a room away from an open door when trick-or-treaters are visiting. Pets can become frightened by the “monsters” and “ghouls” causing them to panic and slip outside.
- Always make sure your pet has up-to-date identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar with a current license and/or ID tag on them and a microchip that’s registered with your contact information, will help reunite you with your companion animal.
- No sweet treats for your furry friend. Chocolate and other seemingly harmless ingredients can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Put candy where pets can’t get to them and dispose of the wrappers right away. Also, remember that children may not understand why Fluffy can’t share their treats, so use this as a teaching opportunity.
- Be careful around Jack-o’-lanterns. Tail wagging is a good thing – unless it’s done around a lit candle! Keep candles and lit craved pumpkins at an appropriate height where your pets can’t knock them over or get burned.
- Not all pets enjoy dressing up. A decorative collar is far more comfortable than a costume for your pet. Make sure your pet thinks a costume is as much fun as you do before you dress them up for Halloween.
If you do put your pet in a costume, try it on them before to make sure they are comfortable, check to make sure it will not get wrapped around his or her neck causing choking or get tangled around their legs.
By following these precautions, Halloween can be a fun and safe holiday instead of frightful for pets and people alike!