Have a safe and happy Halloween 2018

Halloween is a time for fun and treats, but let’s not forget about staying safe. I write about this every year because it’s important to remember. 

Photo of woman taking children in Halloween costumes along a sidewalk

Photo credit: iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Halloween is nearly here – so please check out these important safety reminders.

Choosing Halloween costumes

Choose Halloween costumes with health and safety in mind. The Alberta College and Association of Opticians makes a good point about not re-using costume contact lenses from last year. Microorganisms could have contaminated your contact lens case since you last used the lenses, posing a risk to your eye health.

Never use contacts past the expiration date, they advise. When the package says three months before the contacts expire, it doesn’t mean three months of wear, it means three months from the time you open the package.

This story from Global News describes what can go wrong if costume contact lenses are not used properly.

Think twice before you or your kids try on costumes in a store – they might be infested with lice. See this Huffington Post story about the topic, which is making my head itch just thinking about it! Blech!

Giving out treats on Halloween night

If you’re planning to give out treats on the big night, remember the kids with allergies to peanuts and other foods. The Teal Pumpkin Project is raising awareness about food allergies and asking people to put a teal pumpkin on the doorstep to indicate they have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys.

Carving a pumpkin to add to the decor? Here are some tips from Consumer Reports:

  • Use the right tools (specialty tools in a kit, not kitchen knives)
  • Carve your pumpkin with its top on
  • Keep your work area clean, dry, and well-lit

Keep your yard safe (if you have one) for visiting trick or treaters. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises people to:

  • Remove possible tripping hazards – such as garden hoses, toys, and lawn decorations – from the porch and front yard
  • Make sure outdoor lights are working
  • Restrain pets so they don’t jump on or bite a trick-or-treater

Halloween safety for pets

Speaking of pets, here’s some advice from the BC SPCA:

  • Keep your pets in the house (and make sure their identification is current in case they do sneak outside)
  • Keep candy away from pets
  • Avoid putting pets in costumes because this can be stressful for them

See and be seen on Halloween

BCAA offers this advice for drivers planning to be on the roads on Halloween night:

  • Watch your speed and drive slowly through residential areas and school zones
  • Turn on your headlights before dusk so kids can see your car (including tail lights)
  • Watch for kids darting out from behind parked cars

These are just a few of many things to keep in mind for a safe and healthy Halloween. Do you have any tips to share? Please let me know, in the comments below.

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