Stay Safe on Halloween Night
Halloween is a thrilling time filled with costumes, sweets, tricks, and treats. At Dolmen Insurance, we want to ensure that the only scares you experience are the ones meant for fun. Staying safe during Halloween in Ireland, as in many places, involves a combination of personal responsibility, awareness, and community cooperation. Don’t spoil one night of fun with a lifetime of injury.
Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable Halloween:
Young children should always have a responsible adult escorting them door-to-door on Halloween night.
Talk to your child about the risks associated with Halloween and offer them help and guidance on how to reduce risks and keep themselves safe.
Remind children about "stranger danger" and the importance of not talking to people they do not know. This also means skipping houses that do not have lights on and never trick or treating at strangers' houses.
Halloween can be immensely stressful for dogs, cats and other animals. Even animals who are normally calm and friendly and known to the person can often act out of character when frightened by noises such as fireworks.
Check in with older friends, neighbours and relatives - remember Halloween can be a frightening time for some people.
All costumes, masks and wigs should be flame resistant:
Make sure children are wearing "normal" clothes under the costume, so that they have some protection in the unlikely even that their costume catches fire.
If somebody catches fire, they should do the 'stop, drop and roll' drill - stop what they're doing, get on the ground and roll. Allow the ground, and not a person'shands, to suffocate the fire.
Strictly Come Dancing's Claudia Winkleman relives the moment her daughter's costume caught fire - "We couldn't put her out. Her tights had melted into her skin......It was like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and then they come back."
To prevent falls, make sure your child’s costume fits well, isn’t too long and does not have too much loose fabric. Face painting is often a safer choice for trick or treaters than a mask which can block or obscure vision - make sure your child is not allergic to any of the face paint ingredients.
Dress for the weather, so your child and you are comfortable and warm.
Firework and Bonfire Safety:
Every year children get firework and bonfire related injuries, and some are scarred for life. To be safest, plan family fun and activities that don’t include fireworks and do not allow children attend unsupervised bonfires.
Be cautious even at supervised bonfires. You never know when someone might throw something into the bonfire unknown to the supervisors that could be highly flammable or toxic and which could cause serious injuries.
Children should never hold lit sparklers as they can burn as hot as 700oC and will not go out even when doused in water.
Under 2006 legislation, if you ignite a firework or cause it to be ignited in any place, you are guilty of an offence (unless you are a licensed operator).The offence of igniting a firework can apply to any location, including the garden of a private house. 30% of injuries are caused by illegal or homemade fireworks.
Water or the appropriate fire extinguisher should always be nearby when fireworks and bonfires are being used.
The Dublin Fire Brigade Service urges everyone to do everything possible to make sure Halloween is enjoyed in a safe environment. Watch their YouTube clip here.
Parents need to accompany young children while they are trick or treating. Note that the Road Safety Authority advises that no child under the age 12 years should beallowed cross the road or cycle on the road without adult supervision.
Consider ‘trick-or-treating’ in a group and staying together.
Don’t forget to: stop, look, listen and look again before crossing the road.
Lighting Up the Night:
As the sun sets, visibility becomes a key concern. Arm yourself with flashlights, glow sticks, or wearable LED lights to ensure a well-lit path. This not only adds an extra element of spooky fun but also helps prevent trips and falls. Remember, a well-lit path is a safe path!
While pranks can be amusing, safety should always be the priority. Avoid pranks that could lead to harm or property damage. Respect the boundaries of your neighbors, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the holiday without unwanted surprises.
Check treats thoroughly:
Before eating treats, make sure that they are all checked by a responsible adult.
Discard treats that aren’t in sealed packaging or look suspicious.
Does your child have any allergies?
When in doubt, throw it out!
Choking occurs most frequently among children under two years of age, but choking can happen at any age.
Try not to give children under five years of age popcorn, boiled sweets, nuts, or rubberballoons.
When eating sweets, parents should have children sit down - remember eating while playing, running, jumping, etc can lead to a choking episode.
Motorists Slow down and watch for pedestrians:
Motorists are advised to slow down and drive with extra caution this Halloween: Children may be difficult to see if wearing dark costumes.
Remember, children can be unpredictable! They can dash across a roadway without giving any indication of their intention.
Watch for children running out between parked cars.
Pets and other animals:
Furry friends are part of the family, but Halloween can be stressful for them. Keep pets in a secure area to prevent them from getting scared or escaping during doorbell ringing or loud festivities. Additionally, be mindful of decorations that may intrigue or frighten your four-legged companions.
Carry a fully charged mobile phone while trick-or-treating. Knowing the local emergency number (e.g., 999 or 112) is essential. Accidents can happen, but being prepared ensures a swift response when needed.
Be a Community Beacon:
Be a good role model for your children: act safely and responsibly this Halloween.Participate in or support organized and supervised Halloween events in your community. By coming together, we can create a safe and enjoyable environment for all.
This Halloween, let's focus on the thrills that come from imaginative costumes, delicious treats, and shared laughter. By following these safety tips, you're not only safeguarding your loved ones but also ensuring that your Halloween is truly spooktacular. Happy Halloween from your trusted insurance partner!
Insurance Against Mishaps:
While we can't offer protection against witches or ghosts, we can certainly help you prepare for unforeseen events. Review your home insurance policy to understand coverage for potential Halloween mishaps. Whether it's a pumpkin-related accident or a wayward trick-or-treater, knowing your coverage can provide peace of mind during the festivities.
Information adapted from: HSE Ambulance Service, 2011and Advice from Ms Brenda Shannon, HSE Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Officer, 2016