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How to avoid a fright on Halloween

   How to avoid a fright on Halloween

In 2015, This is Money reported that Halloween is eclipsed only by Easter and Christmas in terms of consumer spending. Halloween can arguably lay claim to being the third biggest holiday in the UK.  Illustrating this point, The Guardian recently reported that an estimated 40 per cent of the British public buy pumpkins, 95 per cent of which are hollowed out to create Jack O’ lanterns.

Here at RoSPA, we want all those who are celebrating Halloween to have ghoulish good fun without any unintended frights. To help with this we have highlighted some common causes of accidents around Halloween and how they can be avoided.

                                                                             Road Safety

Trick of treating has been attributed to an increase in road accidents in late October.

Analysis of road traffic accident data by Churchill Car Insurance found that, on average, 49 children under 10 are involved in road traffic accidents on October 31 – almost twice the average for the two weeks before and after Halloween.

RoSPA top tips for road safety during Halloween are:
  • Ensure children can be seen in the dark; ideally they should wear something reflective such as a reflective strip, and carry a torch
  • Remind older children how to cross the road safely and supervise if they are younger.

Dressing up in garish, ghostly or gory costumes is a key part of many Halloween events. While this can be great fun, it should be remembered that Halloween costumes can be more flammable than normal clothing. This is particularly a problem if your celebrations involve candles or an open fire. This danger was highlighted in the press when Claudia Winkleman’s daughter, then eight-years-old, was hospitalised after her costume caught fire while out trick or treating.
To avoid causing a scare for the wrong reasons with your costume, RoSPA recommends the following:
  • Buy all costumes from reputable retailers, and check that any you buy carry a CE mark on the label
  • As with all clothing, Halloween and fancy dress outfits should always be kept away from fire, lit candles and all other naked flames
  • Use flameless candles where possible. If lit candles are part of your celebrations always follow their safety guidelines, and remember:
    1. Always supervise children and pets if using lit candles
    2. Do not allow children to carry, play, reach over, light or be near lit candles
    3. Never leave a burning candle unattended
    4. Remember always to extinguish a candle completely after use
    5. Take care when using candles at Halloween. Do not carry pumpkins with lit candles inside, consider using battery-operated candles instead
  • Children should always be supervised by a suitable adult
  • Be aware that homemade fancy dress costumes or those not tested to the same flammability standards may ignite easily and burn quicker
Fake blood and face paint often is often part of Halloween fancy dress. Remember to remove any make-up or fake blood immediately, and if irritation occurs this could be the first indication of an allergic reaction to something within the cosmetic. It would be advisable to remove any face paint from children before bed time, no matter how worn out they after an evening of fun.

Finally, if fireworks are part of your celebrations, follow the Firework Code (see our firework safety page for more information).

For more information about how to stay safe this Halloween visit the RoSPA website and download the Halloween safety resource pack.

Ashley Martin, public health adviser
Posted: 10/25/2019 10:33:41 AM 0 comments


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