Keeping the Terror Fantastical
Halloween is a tradition that many cultures celebrate and have done for many years on the last day of October. As with every celebratory event we have to be careful of a few things. Some are quite obvious, others not so much.
Regardless, SHEilds are here to slam another Health and Safety stamp on the occasion. The stamp makes the event a little less scary which kind of goes against the holiday spirit, but hopes to ensure you don’t become one.
So, without further a-ghoul, here is the absolutely essential SHEilds Halloween Safety! Keeping the terror fantastical rather than genuine.
Don’t dress up as the human torch!
There hasn’t been a good Fantastic Four film… ever. So, we urge you not to dress up as the human torch. It’s just not halloween material!
When it comes to dressing up we all want to look super scary and have the best outfit. But for one day a year many of us think it is better to cut some corners and spend a tenth of the price on eBay for something similar.
Many of these garments are not suitably fire tested. That isn’t to say that purchasing from high street shops will make the garment fire proof, but it may resist catching alight a little better. All it takes is for a loose piece of clothing to find its way into a pumpkin (which are sometimes decorated up and down peoples drives).
See the video below to see how quickly a costume can catch fire.
Jack O Lantern’d my house into an inferno!
With the above point in mind if you are letting your children take Jack-O-Lanterns out of the house with them, perhaps opt for LED lights. These are a much safer option as there is nothing to ignite a fire. You can also set up all sorts of creepy effects with different colour changing LED’s.
A few years ago, I wired up a Pumpkin with colour changing lights and won a Pumpkin competition, so don’t be a traditionalist. It can be a great way to teach your children about simple circuits and make it all a little more fun. With batteries being all that are used there is no risk of electric shocks, however I did have to pin the lights to the inside with cocktail sticks. So, go careful not to stab your finger as I did or else your finger will look like it’s been attacked by Mike-ro Myers! (I know he’s always referred to as Michael.)
Using LED’s is a great solution as it greatly reduces the risk of house fires if you decide to decorate your house in them for a house party! It may be a little more pricey but you can’t put a price on friends and loved ones. (But you can put a price tag on their back and chuckle for hours as they walk around without a clue. Trick or treat!)
Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. (But not a pin in a sweet.)
We’ve all heard the rhyme; Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat… But not a pin in a sweet….Right?
On to Trick or Treating, there are concerns each year about trick or treaters being given sweets with pins inside. There is ground for this concern however, despite being the cruellest trick anyone can do, it is so rare that I would be more fearful of Freddy Kruger haunting my dreams than eating some sweets that had been spiked, literally. At least if it was to happen my Hellraiser costume would be sorted all year round.
The only suggestion for those that have this concern is to drop a few neodymium magnets in a bag of the sweets. It would stick to them to show there is some metal inside.
I do need to point out once again that this is very rare, and it can happen at any time of the year in supermarkets as has happened in Australia earlier this year.
Your little dears in headlights
A real issue is crossing the road, as you don’t want to end up with your “little dears” in headlights.
Sure, your child is dressed up in their new outfit carrying their safe LED pumpkin illuminating their presence. But around busy roads there are many drivers that don’t always stick to the speed limits.
Making your child aware of the dangers and how to safely cross roads will reduce the risk of them excitedly scurrying across a road to knock on the next house. Remember that Halloween costumes are commonly dark, coming out from between parked cars or on a corner may mean that the driver cannot act quickly enough and may not see them in unilluminated areas.
If possible, go with them, you can walk behind them or take the time to go scaring your neighbours and bonding with your child. You could even do some cool joint costumes together.
Things go bump in the night
On Halloween, things go bump in the night, but there are some things that shouldn’t cause a bump when driving. Although we’ve seen plenty of horror films where the protagonist runs over the haunting entity, and they always stand back up or end up on top of the car with a 12-inch knife. In reality, no matter how scary someone looks a hit from a car can be serious and deadly.
Most trick or treaters take to the night between the hours of 6 and 10 before fleeing home to safety before the werewolves come out. Even after this you can see dozens of drunken zombies swaying all over the pavement. It is worth being extra cautious all evening but especially earlier on when the little devils are out and about.
Last year on Halloween I saw someone passed out on a residential street, if he was trying to be a speed bump, his dress was appalling. Fortunately, the ambulance was quick to arrive but there are obvious worries as to why he was there and how different things could have been had I of been someone who wasn’t paying attention.
The obvious rules come in to play such as don’t text and drive, don’t drink and drive, don’t speed, etc. If anything, these rules should be taken into account a little moreso, or else your Halloween could become a real-life hell.
What’s your poison?
What’s your poison? Mine is usually a tipple of whiskey, but there is no reason not to go out and have a great time drinking. However, as I mentioned above, if it results in you finding a concrete bed for the night, your family may be in for a fright.
Plan your night out by pre-booking your taxi and stay within the safe limits of alcohol. I feel like it’s not worth going over the points repeatedly as we have covered this in other blog posts.
If out and about, keep your drink close to you. Plan your trip home safely so you get home to bed, and don’t end up dead.
A message from the other side (of the internet)
A final (and important) message from the other side… of the internet.
Keep an eye on your children, it’s understandable if they are at an age where they can venture out alone, but ensure you know where they are going and that they understand what time they need to be home.
Additionally, keep in mind that face paint and the like have been known to provoke unpleasant reactions in unfortunate cases. Do skin tests a few days before if you are using make-up, unless you’re going for the swollen-faced creature of the night look.
Lastly, make sure you enjoy yourselves, it’s easy to preach something to all of our blog readers but ultimately, health and safety doesn’t have to suck the fun out of everything. (Health and Safety is not a dementor.)
So, stay safe throughout Halloween, the last thing you want to be dressed in, is a coffin.
Inventor of the worst Halloween name pun you will ever hear, ever. Next year I’ll go for Stephen Jack’on’lantern to retain my title.
Want more? Check out our previous Halloween Blogs: