Halloween – with its costumes, candy and parties – can be an exciting night for kids and adults alike. However, it can also create an unsafe environment if you’re not careful. Here are six easy ways to keep All Hallows’ Eve the fun, festive experience it’s meant to be:
- Light it up. Doublecheck that your outside lights are in good working order and bright enough so you can look through a peephole or window and see that a little princess or a superhero is on the other side of the door, rather than someone who is potentially trying to break into your home. If you’re out of candy or just ready to go to bed, don’t turn out your lights (which could be an invitation to vandals). Instead, post a sign on the door that this candy stop is closed until next year.
- Create a safe path. Because you’re going to be frequently getting up to answer the door, clear your path of any rugs or cords or anything that could get in your way. Same goes for outside your door. If you have pumpkins or other holiday decorations, especially those with electrical cords, be sure they’re safely out of your way as you greet the trick-or-treaters. Avoid real candles in your jack-o’-lanterns as they can create a fire hazard (that’s not the kind of “scary” you were going for!).
- Make it a party. Invite friends over to share some holiday revelry with you while you hand out candy to the neighborhood kids. That way, if you open the door to someone who’s up to no good, they may change their game plan when they hear voices and realize you’re not alone.
- Don’t invite trouble inside. Never invite trick or treaters inside your house. Plus, be sure to have your bowl of candy in your hand when you open the door, so you don’t have to move away from the open door to grab it. It only takes one unaware moment for someone to get into your home.
- Shield those with dementia. If someone in your household has Alzheimer’s or dementia, be aware that the holiday may exacerbate their anxiety and confusion. The unfamiliar decorations in the house and strangers coming to the door can be disorienting, the costumes and masks threatening, and the doorbell constantly ringing a source of extreme agitation. You might consider relocating your loved one for the evening to ensure it’s not a truly terrifying night for them!
- Practice safety in numbers. Last but not least, make sure there are lots of kids and parents out on the street before you start answering the door, plus that most of your neighbors’ houses are well-lit and they are also handing out candy. If the street is relatively dark and there are only a few kids trickling to your door, be safe and just pack the candy away for next year!