How To Stay Safe At Halloween
31 October, 2016
Halloween is the epitome of autumn, and it’s a great excuse to have fun while dressing up, decorating your house seasonally and filling yourself with sweets. However, there is a darker side to Halloween, and we don’t just mean ghosts and monsters, but unfortunately at Halloween many accidents occur. These can be as a result of pranks, flammable costumes, pumpkin carving or even just trick or treating. So here are a few ways you can stay safe and avoid injury this Halloween:
Halloween costumes are often made from flammable materials such as polyester. In 2013, during the period between Halloween and Bonfire Night, there were 82 injuries related to fire. Claudia Winkleman’s daughter famously ended up in hospital as a result of one such costume at Halloween in 2014. Claudia has since campaigned for children’s Halloween costumes to be made from less flammable materials, and for parents to be aware of what they are dressing their children in.
Where possible, it is best to consider what materials you are wearing this Halloween. Costumes can be made at home out of clothes or things you have laying around, they do not necessarily have to be the ‘typical’ costume from a supermarket or store. However, it may not always be possible to avoid wearing such costumes, so the best steps you can take are to be aware of your surroundings, and avoid any candles, cigarettes or other items that may cause a fire, even radiators.
As a homeowner, you can also prevent the chance of harm to others by not leaving any candles, or other such items, in any area that could come into contact with a costume. If you wish to have candles, it is best to keep them high up, out of the reach of children and their costumes.
A favourite activity for many at Halloween is carving pumpkins. However, each Halloween numerous carving injuries occur as a result of this pastime and it’s important to know how to prevent this from happening to you. It is always best to leave the pumpkin carving to a responsible adult, or at the very least have adult supervision, as children are less likely be aware of the dangers involved. It is also important to choose a clear, well-lit and slip free (dry) area to do your carving in. Perhaps on the kitchen table for example.
Whilst it may seem logical to use a sharper knife for better results, this is not necessarily true as it can become lodged in the thicker part of the pumpkin and may require some force to remove it, which may lead to injuries. For best results, use a pumpkin carving set. These are often inexpensive and can be found in most supermarkets, but they are also much less likely to cause accidents when used carefully and safely.
Many of us have pulled pranks or had pranks pulled upon us during the Halloween season. However many of us have witnessed, or seen viral videos of, pranks going wrong and people being injured as a result. So how can you prevent this from happening to you?
- Pick on someone your own size. If you are five foot tall and your victim is 6 foot, it may be best to stay away, and vice versa, as you may cause serious harm.
- Never prank someone who is driving, whether you are a passenger or you try and jump on a car from the outside. This could cause both you and the driver serious harm, and may also lead to the harm of others.
- Try not to cause injury to yourself or your victim. Playful pranks are easy enough to come by, they don’t need to be taken to the next level. Assess your surroundings, are there objects around that could cause serious injury to either of you? If so, it may be best to choose another location, or avoid the prank altogether.
Trick or treating
It’s easy to get lost in the moment when trick or treating, but it is also important to say aware of what is happening around you. Watch out for cars, and stick to areas and houses you know to be safe. As a driver, it is also important to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for trick or treaters who may have wandered into the road.