Halloween Safety Tips, by Moi!
To me, Halloween is a rite of commemorating the dead I have known in my life. As macabre as it seems, this holiday goes beyond the status as a celebration of children in multifarious guises of witches, ghouls, superheroes, princesses, and creatures. So often, it's so much fun that safety is so much in the background. Well, I have a series of Halloween tips to ensure a safe, fun fete of the macabre and humorous.
Costume Safety Conforms Apply
I hate to say that the most common injuries are from trips and falls, but that doesn't mean that you should stop your child or yourself from dressing up as a friar or a Southern Belle. Although it feels so out-of-line with your guise as, say, a Chinese matchmaker, hem it so your two walkable feet can be seen.
Also, make sure it's flame retardant, which means that the pain of ignition can be easily lessened and halted. To reduce catching fire, make sure your costume isn't flowing or baggy; it should be a bit form-fitting. I'm not suggesting skimpy, immodest, made-for-a-strip-club costumes for safety reasons, ladies! I'm simply convincing you that your costumes should pose less risk of catching flames.
(Mental note to homeowners - make sure your pathways are clear of any decorations or open-flame jack-o-lanterns, and place those illuminated pumpkin heads and candles away from fabric or curtains.)
Also, see if your props are made of soft and flexible material, and that means swords, clubs, canes, and scythes, fellas! You may poke one's eye out!
If you want to see clearly, wear masks with large eyeholes and wear hats that secure on your head. Or even better - ditch the whole mask smarm and use face paint instead. Shoes must have a low heel height and fit well, and if you want to appear as going barefoot, wear tan shoes or (if you have the money) tan jazz shoes. Trick-or-treating can guarantee you tired feet, after all, and some venues even have those cobblestone streets that can make you trip.
Perfect for Appearing As Barefoot!
Want More Reflective Tape Inspiration?
Reflective tape does not need to create costume ennui and tackiness - Martha Stewart has her suggestions of making a trick-or-treating safety staple into a novelty.
Dazzle the Drivers
No, I don't mean flaunt your costumes to honking horns - I'm urging you to wear something visible to them. I prefer light-colored or loud-colored fabrics in my costumes - from an elaborate princess dress to even some white toga. The fabric color palette would help drivers see you with their two eyes!
Also, I'm a big supporter of Halloween safety experts who urge everyone to tape reflective tape on their Halloween costumes, especially the black-colored ones like a black cat or some Victorian-era costume guide in mourning clothing. I know, a vampire or some goth costume would look really tacky with strips of it, but hello - it's a safety tip!
Boring strips of reflective tape need not adorn or screw up your costume. You can be creative with rolls of them from your local Midas or Lowes. A peacemaker costume can be adorned with punch-out or cutout doves or a report card can be garnished with letter grades spelled out! You can make polka dots on your sky blue shorts to resemble the boxers worn by a boy who throws a fit over his mother canceling his game account. You can doll up a cell phone costume with metallic push-buttons with pieces of them.
You know all too well that reflective tape can help the neighborhood drivers see you. But I strongly suggest to you that you can use your imagination to create something novel from them and tape them on your outfits!
Another good tip is to use a flashlight (Glow sticks and other novelty toys that light up are ineffective - sorry.) so that you can see well if it's dark outside.
Know Your Trick-or-Treat 'Hood
Trick-or-Treating is a fabulous nocturnal activity - a ritual performed by children and some adolescents and adults, and speaking of the latter two, they should always accompany the former and ensure them that they stay in a group.
(Although the annual Halloween event Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World rarely has motorized vehicles on its walkways, save for floats from Mickey's Boo to You Halloween Parade, the same rule applies. That brings up a great idea of having everyone in your party dress in identical shirts and you carrying a flag to resemble a Brazilian tour group or an Argentinean youth herd!).
When going out at dusk (providing that your costumes conform to the above safety standards), find any house with porch lights or any bright lights emitting from the houses. Under any circumstances, never ever go into that said house. (That's what I agree on with those anti-stranger-danger advocates out there!)
Also, follow pedestrian safety, even in a quiet neighborhood. C'mon, trick-or-treaters - you know the drill: always look both ways before crossing the street, don't go between parked cars or alleys, use the sidewalk whenever possible, and so on! Oh, and adults - make sure you hold your children's hands when crossing the street and walk with them- it's safer.
Check the Loot
After trekking from house to house, saying the litany, "Trick-or-treat," on the front doors, you are ready to dig in the confectionery buffet handed out by neighbors in your pillow-sack. I know you are tempted to binge, but I want you to check it before consumption. No Halloween should be ruined with an abdominal operation in the ER in November or with heartache because you or you children die from food poisoning thanks to tampered treats. If sweets appear to peep out of their wrappers or are completely nude, dispose them, and to make things easier, sort them in separate piles or bags to disparage what is safe and what is not. Oh, and small toys should be kept away from children under 3 - enough said.
Those Halloween safety tips are not there to ruin the fun. I made them up to keep you and your kids safe as they look for candy in their neighborhoods and enjoy themselves. I hope your family will keep these handy!
To Sum It All Up...
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