Halloween safety tips are an important topic for homesteaders because there are additional concerns that urban families may not need to consider.
In this Halloween safety tips guide, I’m going to help you prepare your home, kiddos, and animals for the spooky holiday so you can avoid unexpected injuries.
1. Hot Halloween Safety Tips – Fire Hazards
Out of everything you’ll find on this list, fire hazards on Halloween are one of the biggest concerns amongst parents and homesteaders.
You love to DIY your Halloween, but if you aren't careful, your décor could go up in flames. As long as you address these potential fire hazards with our Halloween safety tips, your holiday should go smoothly:
Carving pumpkins is an old pastime that has been passed down from generation to generation. Not only are sharp knives a concern during this Halloween activity, but fires from the candles within can also be an issue as well.
While the inside of a pumpkin is quite moist, a fallen pumpkin may prompt a stray candle to roll away and start a yard or house fire. Consider using battery-operated candles rather than the real deal.
Who doesn’t love the look, and smell, of dried cornstalks and hay bales on the front porch?
These trimmings aren’t just a sign that Halloween is right around the corner, they're also representative of bountiful Fall harvests.
When installing your dried decor, be sure to place them far from electrical elements, candles, lit Jack-O-Lanterns, and bonfire pits.
The glow of an apple spiced pumpkin candle sets the mood for the Halloween holiday, but if you have little ones or rambunctious pets nearby, close monitoring is essential to prevent accidental fires.
Essential oils and diffusers are a safe, and often healthy, alternative to candles. And you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite seasonal smells because most come from plant oils anyway!
‘Tis the season to cook ghoulish treats and baked goods. If you haven’t cleaned your oven in a while, it’s time to start scraping it out.
Autumn is the time of year my oven gets a workout, so I mark my calendar for a yearly deep-clean on October 1st.
Old caked-on grease is not just unhygienic, but a poorly maintained gas stove is a potential hazard.
Excited kids running in and out of a kitchen can easily cause an accident. Ensure you are safe by having a fire extinguisher in a central location in the house.
Heaters, Fireplaces, and Bon Fires
Autumn can be a dry, cold, time of year. But that also means it’s the perfect time to cuddle up by the fire, bonfire, or space heater.
If you have heat sources available for trick-or-treaters to warm their tootsies, be sure that children are safe from hot stoves, and dry décor is at a safe distance.
2. Walk This Way for A Safe Halloween
In preparation for trick-or-treaters, assess your walkways and roadways. Ensure that paths to your home are free from farm equipment, jagged branches, and if it’s cold where you live, make sure paths aren’t icy.
Most kids will stay on your designated walkways, but if you have farm animals nearby, you run the risk of Halloween turning into a petting zoo. So, if possible, try to keep pets and animals out of sight.
Remember, the days are shorter, and it gets dark early in Fall. You can prevent falls and stumbles by lighting your pathway with small solar lights or utilize porch lights to invite trick-or-treaters and prevent injuries from falls.
Avoid using candles to light a path due to the fire hazard they cause as well as possible burns to young children.
3. The Petting Zoo is Closed for the Season
Even if you think your dog is completely harmless, a strange smell, a crying child, or a rough child may change everything. Secure your pets to ensure they don’t injure children or other visitors during trick-or-treating.
Keep farm animals out of sight, or inside, during the festivities. Children that haven’t been exposed to farm animals may not understand that not all of them are tame like at the petting zoo, so minimize the risk of farm animal injury by keeping them tucked away for the night.
4. Out of Town
If you’ll be away during the Halloween festivities, keep some lights on inside to discourage thefts and shenanigans from the youngsters. Keep your doors locked and do your best to secure your outbuildings and animal pens.
5. An Unsafe Halloween Favorite
The beloved Halloween staple, the Glow Stick, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A few mouthfuls of the chemicals inside can cause irritation to the throat. The liquid can also cause eye irritation but all-in-all it isn’t deadly dangerous.
With that being said, the glow stick container is a choking hazard to both children and pets. It may also contain small glass shards inside which can cause injury if opened. If you’re looking for a safe alternative, consider LED lights, or fun Halloween-themed flashlights for the kids.
6. Halloween Candy Concerns
One of the most exciting aspects of Halloween is loads of candy youngsters collect. But there are a few hidden dangers that both you and your children should be aware of before digging into the sweet harvest.
Before you allow your children to dig in, sort through the candy and remove hard candy that could easily become lodged in your child’s throat if swallowed whole. Older children may be permitted to eat this kind of candy, but even an adult can choke on hard candy, so use your discretion.
Also use caution with gooey taffies, caramel, or marshmallows as these kinds of candy are also choking hazards.
If your child has a food allergy, inspect candy for items that may cause a reaction. If your child is extremely sensitive to an allergen, and other candy may have come into contact with it, find out what your child’s favorite candies are, stock up, and allow them to cash in their collected candy for the safe stuff that’s on reserve at home.
Let’s be honest, there are some real weirdos out there that put dangerous items in children's candy. Glass, lead, pins, toxins, and biohazardous materials have been found in candy.
We can’t try to understand what would prompt anyone to do such a thing, but we can prevent our children from becoming a victim of it.
Before you allow your kids to attack their treats, closely inspect all candy for holes, pinholes, opened wrappers, and other abnormalities. Throw away any questionable candy immediately and if you do find something report it to the local authorities immediately.
7. Costume Saftey
Crafting costumes is an exciting part of Halloween, but if you don’t plan safely, a stray hem could find its way into a jack-o-lantern and burst into flames. Here are a few things to also consider when planning Halloween costumes:
- Use fire-resistant materials
- Keep hems from dragging on the ground
- Use non-toxic makeup rather than masks for visibility
- Attach reflective tape, flashlights, and blinking lights to costumes for night trick-or-treating
8. The Big Night
On the night of trick-or-treating prepare your little ghouls with a few ground rules to make sure everyone stays safe because unfortunately, goblins aren’t the only scary thing children may encounter on their trip around the neighborhood.
- Plan the acceptable route, and ensure your child sticks to the plan.
- Set a time for your child to return home if they are going out alone.
- Remind your child not to eat their candy until you’ve inspected it.
- Encourage children to travel in large groups.
- Remind kids to stay out of stranger’s homes and cars.
If you can accompany your child, do so, because the best way to ensure your child is safe is to be with them on their exciting Halloween journey.
Knowing you've considered the dangers of this spooky holiday ahead of time with our Halloween safety tips, will give you peace of mind on the big day.
Now go get your costume on and get ready to hand out some sweets for neighbor kids!