Ghosts and vampires are not the only spooky things Hoosiers should be concerned about on Halloween. Trick-or-treating can be filled with an array of dangers. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, children are more than twice as likely to die from a vehicle accident when they are out collecting treats than any other time of the year. Practice a few of these simple tips to keep the holiday safe and fun.
Halloween Safety Tips
For many, a great part of Halloween is the ability to dress up. Here is how to stay safe and stylish when gathering treats:
- Make sure costumes, wigs and accessories are fire resistant.
- Costumes and accessories should fit correctly to prevent tripping.
- Avoid dark colors — it could make it difficult for drivers to see the children.
- If avoiding dark colors is impossible, place reflective tape on costumes and bags so trick-or-treaters are more visible to drivers at night.
- Masks can dangerously restrict vision. Try using non-toxic makeup to make sure children can see everything happening around them.
- Remove makeup at the end of the night to prevent any potential allergic reactions or skin irritations.
- Tell children to never enter a stranger’s home or vehicle.
- No treats should be eaten until they are checked by an adult.
- Young children should be with a responsible adult.
- Older children should have a specific route and time they return home.
- Stay in well-lit areas and on sidewalks to prevent being hit by a vehicle. When crossing a street, remind children to look both ways before stepping off the sidewalk.
- Carry flashlights or electric lanterns to prevent injuries, both on the sidewalk and in the street.
- Notify law enforcement immediately if something is suspicious.
- Home Safety
Halloween safety does not only apply to costumes and trick-or-treating. Safety should be remembered when decorating and handing out treats.
- When preparing a jack o’ lantern, consider having young children draw the pumpkin’s face, but have parents do the actual carving.
- To prevent the chances of a fire, consider using a flashlight or glow stick in pumpkins.
- If using a candle in a pumpkin, display it in an area where costumes will not accidently brush against the pumpkin.
- Remove dangerous items from the yard that can injure and trip children.
- Keep the sidewalk and porch free from debris and slipping hazards.
- Pets should be restrained to avoid any stress-induced aggression and to prevent them from escaping.
Keeping Hoosiers Safe
The Code Enforcement Section of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security works daily to make sure building and fire codes are being followed around Indiana. Code officials work with local building, fire and enforcement departments to provide continuous educational training, building and fire code interpretation and on-site inspection assistance.
Inspectors are in the field daily, performing inspections related to Class I structures, amusement and entertainment permits, fireworks permits, haunted houses, industrialized buildings and mobile structures, registered child care ministries, registered day cares, outdoor event equipment and temporary stages.
The Code Enforcement Section handles permit applications and status requests relating to fireworks, amusement and entertainment and outdoor event equipment. Applicants for these permits use the online service Public Safety Portal.