When we think about Halloween safety, we usually think of children. Getting those trick or treaters safely through traffic and home with a reasonable number of treats and no costume accidents is the goal. But adults can have health and safety issues at Halloween, too! Here are some tips to make sure the big people stay well this year.
Be careful with pumpkin carving
Pumpkin carving is an important tradition for many families, but it can also lead to cuts and burns.
Pumpkins can be slippery when wet, so work in a clean, dry place. A well-lighted place is important, too.
Don’t give in to the temptation to grab a knife and stab. It’s easy to get the knife stuck, and trying to force it through the pumpkin can lead to damage. Plan and draw your design and then use small, controlled cuts, moving the knife away from yourself.
Choose intentional pumpkin-carving tools rather than picking a knife at random. You’ll have better control and better results.
If someone does get cut, apply pressure with a clean cloth. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 15 minutes, get medical help. MANA Urgent Care can help without extra emergency fees.
Think twice about candles
Instead of traditional candles, consider LED lights in the shape of candles or tea lights. You’re less likely to end up with fires.
If you’re determined to use candles in your Jack o’Lanterns, make sure to cut a stable base and set them on a clear surface. Those grinning jacks may look great in a pile of hay or a drift of autumn leaves, but that’s a flammable situation.
Costumes can be flammable, too. Often they’re made of flimsy fabrics that burn easily, and they’re more likely to involve drapes sleeves and long hems than ordinary street clothes do. For kids, fire retardant costumes make sense.
For adults, ditch the long vampire robes before clustering around the fire to roast marshmallows.
Poison in Halloween treats is not nearly as common as people sometimes think, but allergens can be a real issue. Candy that doesn’t contain nuts can still be made in facilities that process nuts, and that can be enough to cause allergic reactions. Jolly parties with homemade goodies are fun, but it’s hard to know what the ingredients are. The festive nature of the events makes it hard to pin down which dishes might contain nuts, wheat, shellfish, or other common allergens.
If you’re the host, consider labeling dishes with any likely allergens. If you’re a guest, do yourself a favor and choose items that are clearly identifiable — or bring allergy-safe treats to share.
When you choose treats and party favors, consider non-food times like miniature containers of “slime,” stickers, crayons, or small toys.
Halloween costumes, masks, and even make up can contain latex or other allergens. Items that have been in storage may have mites or mold on them. Dry ice can trigger asthma attacks.
If you have allergies, you’re probably fairly vigilant when you’re out and about, but Halloween can bring up new experiences that you’re not repaired for, so be ready to think outside the box.
Be smart about vehicles
Pedestrians have a 50% higher chance of being hit by a car on Halloween than on an ordinary night. Whether you’re out with your kids or out on the town with friends, plan to make sure you’re visible. Long dark robes and dark masks can make you invisible to drivers.
Halloween celebrations among adults often involve liquor. One survey found that college students admitted to drinking an average of 6 drinks at a typical Halloween party. It’s no surprise that drunk driving increases on Halloween night.
Plan ahead to have a designated driver and be extra careful when you’re walking or driving — other drivers may be impaired even if you are not.
Let the scary parts of Halloween be lighthearted, fun, and spooky — not actually dangerous.