When I was a kid, Halloween was essentially a free-for-all. Along with every other family on the block, my parents would unleash my siblings and m (and sometimes my friends) on the neighborhood for an evening complete with various light-hearted pranks, a fully sanctioned sense of spookiness, and ridiculous amounts of sugar. We weren’t a supervised clique of adolescents – and neither were any of the other neighborhood kids. We basically did as we pleased for roughly three hours in the shadows of small-town streetlights.
When we got home, we’d brag a bit to our parents about our sucrose-infused plunder before beginning our great candy exchange. This typically involved a brief, unofficiated shoving match between all of us over the rarest commodities, after which we’d agree to a kind of implicit reconciliation as we all fell into a sugar hangover, passing out in full costume on the plush carpet.
Sadly, all that is left of my generation’s version of Halloween are a few select sentiments and a fading nostalgic impulse. The age of innocence has long passed, and although we want our children to have a riotous and memorable Halloween, we have to be more cautious than ever before to make sure that our little ghouls and goblins remain safe. Not only have times changed, but it’s also important to remember that, during Halloween especially, a child’s excitement far exceeds their restraint, which can lead to any number of accidents or potentially dangerous situations.
To help everybody have a safe Halloween season, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind for a fiendishly fun evening full of tricks, treats, and traipsing about the neighborhood with devilish delight:
- Enlist designated chaperones – Having a trusted set of eyes on your children will prevent them from talking to strangers, haphazardly crossing the street, executing more sinister pranks, or missing curfew.
- Establish expectations – If your children are a little older and are planning on going out with friends or attending a party, dance, or other festive occasion, be sure to set specific and concrete ground rules. You should know exactly where they are going, who they are going there with, who will be driving, and when they will be home. If they have a cell phone, have them call or text at regular intervals (perhaps every hour or so) to let you know that they are okay. Your teens will likely roll their eyes, but that’s their job; your job is to keep them safe as safe as possible and let them know they’re loved.
- Veto vandalism – Egging cars, toilet papering houses, or slashing tires might seem like funny pranks to young adults, but the fact is that these actions can require exhausting clean up and expensive repair. They are also legally punishable offenses that could land your children in a hot cauldron with local law enforcement. Remember, Smashing Pumpkins is an underrated grunge band, not a good idea to be acted out physically.
- Exercise costume caution – Make sure that your children are dressed warmly and appropriately in a costume that fits comfortably. You don’t want them to trip over loose-fitting clothing or to fall on unyielding accessories, such as toy swords or wands. Masks should provide good visibility, and makeup should be alcohol and allergy free. Lastly, despite any protestations, apply highly visible items to your children’s costumes, (e.g. reflectors, jewels, glow sticks, reflective tape, or flashing lights). This will keep them visible to both their chaperones and any neighborhood traffic.
- DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE: With Halloween falling on a Friday this year, many adults will be attending parties and partaking in libations. Of course, everyone can have fun in moderation, but I implore you not to drive if you have had more than one drink. There’s an inordinate amount of motor vehicle and foot traffic alike on Halloween, and buzzed or drunk driving could drastically change or even permanently end a life in just a few blurry seconds.
Lastly, I want to stress having fun on this unique holiday. Halloween is a wonderful chance to be someone else for an evening, to overindulge on sweets, and to enjoy the innocuous nefariousness of the season. But even though your outward appearance may be otherworldly, bear in mind that it’s more important than ever to be safe and act with civility on this otherwise indulgent evening.
In the unfortunate event that someone you know or love suffers a personal injury of some sort on Halloween, or on any other date, please contact Crosley Law Firm at (877) 535-4529 or visit our website for a free case review. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff possess the necessary knowledge, tools, and technology to seek optimal recovery for your unique set of circumstances.
Happy haunting, everyone!
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