As Halloween approaches every October 31st I see Halloween safety segments on the news, or posters given out at schools. This is fantastic! As much as we know some of these things, being reminded helps bring it to the forefront. Examples of some of these safety notices include:
- Kids should have their faces painted instead of wearing masks. Masks are more difficult to see out of.
- ALWAYS have parents examine candy collected during trick or treating. Throw out anything unwrapped, punctured, or suspicious in any other way.
- Have a flashlight/glow stick or some other form of reflective material when trick or treating, so you are easily visible to motorists.
- Stay on sidewalks, not the road! This one seems obvious, but I cannot count how many excited kids I see dart out in the middle of roadways, or walk down the middle of the road.
That is certainly not an all-encompassing list of everything we should teach our children who will be participating in Halloween, but it gives you the idea.
This year, I wanted to come up with a Halloween Safety List specifically targeted at adults. As stated before, nothing you will see on the list is necessarily revolutionary, but repetition helps cement the principles. This is the importance of ongoing training and re-certification (first aid principles and H2S tactics need to be second nature during an emergency). Once you know a principle, concept, tactic, inside and out and have practiced it over and over, you will automatically default to that training when the need arises.
- Be hyper vigilant on the road.
- Young kids have been known to dart off a sidewalk onto a roadway when something catches their attention.
- Older kids, finally allowed to go trick or treating without a parent, can get so distracted by their friends, that they simply don’t pay attention to where they are going.
- And then there are the teenagers and adults, who may be walking home from a party, or in really unfortunate cases, driving home from a party where alcohol was consumed. Depending upon their level of intoxication, they may not be fully aware of their surroundings.
- This leads into the next point…do not drive impaired!!! That does not just mean alcohol. When I say impaired, I’m also referring to drugs, including marijuana. Whether marijuana is de-criminalized where you live or not, recent use = impairment. Appoint a designated driver.
- Do not come ‘hung-over’ to work the next day. Drink responsibly. A safety-sensitive worker who is hung-over is not on their ‘A Game’ making it easier for incidents to occur.
- If you have kids coming to trick or treat, ensure that your decorations are not a safety hazard. You don’t need real blood gushing out a child’s head from tripping over a skeleton arm on your sidewalk. Esthetics should never trump safety!
- Somehow, adults tend to look out more for their children than they do themselves. If you are going to steal your children’s candy – make sure you inspect it for yourself too, not just for your kids!! (And let’s be honest, we’re all going to steal some of their candy!)
- This is true 100% of the time, but especially when people are in costume…if you are at a party, never put down your drink. If you do happen to put it down, grab a new drink.
- Side note: If you suspect that you have been drugged, get drug tested ASAP. Most drugs used for this purpose: Ketamine, GHB, etc. can only be detected in your urine for 3 or 4 days. I have had calls from people time and time again, who decide to get tested a week or two after they suspect that something may have happened. At that point, it is too late to detect the drugs in your urine. HOWEVER, don’t let this stop you from reporting an incident to the police a week after the fact, hair testing may be able to be used, along with other evidence, just know that sooner is always better than later when reporting this type of incident.
- Watch out for the weird creepy clowns that have been popping up everywhere. No one fully know what the phenomenon is about, but I have heard speculation of everything from promotion for the launch of a new ‘IT’ movie to clowns abducting/attempting to abduct children. Craziness always seems to escalate at Halloween.
Summary: Be Aware, Plan Ahead and Be Pro-Active. All good things to do year round anyways.
Have a safe Halloween 2016!