Halloween Safety Tips
Written by: Brigitta Ellwein, Victim Services Coordinator- King County
It’s that spooktacular time of year when pumpkin spice is flowing, children get to trick-or-treat, and parties abound sometimes sweet or scary.  While all the costumes and decorations make this time of year playful and fun, it’s always a good idea to have some tips in mind to keep you and your family safe.
Knowing that it gets dark much earlier this time of year, when you go out for a ghoulish good time, you want to make sure that you and your children are visible, are checking the traffic before you cross any road, and that costumes fit well, especially footwear.  It is best to always have a parent accompany children while trick-or-treating or passing through neighborhood haunted houses.  If older children are heading out alone, you can plan a route you are comfortable with as well as a time and place to meet or check in on the phone.  Be sure you only visit homes with their lights on and never go inside.  As tempting as it might be to share pictures of your fantastic costume with friends, be sure you are paying attention when walking or driving and put your devices down.  If you are driving on this howling good night, be extra diligent when entering and leaving driveways, keep an eye out for children in dark clothing or camouflage (it’s so hard to see!), and be ready to stop quickly for those daredevils jaywalking (“Spooky Truths Regarding Halloween, 2017″).
We know kids like to claim this time as their own but many of us enjoy the Halloween spirit as well.  Be careful when sipping the Witch’s Brew and be sure to have a designated driver.  Try to have some food and water before you imbibe.  Be aware of your surroundings, stay in well-lit places, and have a friend accompany you on your ghostly adventures.  Know that this year has held a few scares and be careful if you decide to wear a mask as it makes you more difficult to identify.  There may be a few stops on your nightly escapade so be sure that your cellphone is charged (Rendon, 2016).
If you are staying in for the night of fright, be sure your decorations aren’t covering electrical outlets and that outlets aren’t overloaded.  Be sure to keep a watchful eye on candles and to keep them clear of anything flammable. Also, while it may be fun to trick and scare your guests or the many trick-or-treaters stopping by, be careful of any injuries that may occur as a result of the intended fun (Prisco, 2013).
We hope that these tips will add some safety to your fun.  Enjoy the costumes and candy and just to prevent any child riots, let people know when you are out of candy!  From everyone here at Victim Support Services, Happy Halloween!
Prisco, Joanna. (2013, October 29). Halloween safety tips for kids and adults. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/halloween-safety-tips-kids-adults/story?id=20703598
Rendon, Frankie. (2016, October 30). How to have fun while staying safe at a college Halloween party. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/frankie-rendon/how-to-have-fun- while-staying-safe-at-a-college-halloween-party_b_8429026.html
Spooky truths regarding Halloween safety on and off the road. (2017, October). Retrieved  from http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/halloween-safety.aspx