Between the leaves changing color and the temperatures cooling down, October brings with it many exciting things -- one of which is Halloween! Amid all the festive decorations, creative costumes and delicious candy, however, it can be easy to forget that this holiday brings many safety hazards for seniors.
Whether you’re planning on staying home to hand out candy or joining your loved ones in their trick-or-treating fun, these Halloween safety tips will allow you to fully enjoy this special time of year.
Staying Safe in Your Home on Halloween
A big part of the Halloween fun is seeing all of the neighborhood children dressed in creative costumes, but unrecognizable visitors knocking on the door can be scary and intimidating for seniors living alone. Follow these safety tips so you can feel more comfortable in your home on Halloween night:
Don’t sacrifice safety for festivity.
Halloween decorations certainly add to the fun, but they can also cause quite a fright if they result in an accident. If you’re planning on decorating your home, take these preventative measures so you and all the trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood can stay safe on Halloween night:
- Remove tripping hazards, like wires or electrical cords, from all walkways both inside and outside of your home.
- Do not place candlelit pumpkins on stairs or walkways. Although festive, candlelit pumpkins and other decorations involving flames are a fire hazard for some Halloween costume ideas, like long capes or robes.
- Avoid window decorations that block natural light from coming into your home and the view of your front entryway.
- Do not play music outside. Any sounds could distract you from staying aware of your surroundings.
Deter vandals and robbers.
Teens and young children typically play pranks in neighborhoods around Halloween. These safety tips will reduce the risk of your home being targeted:
- Leave interior and exterior lights on, even if you won’t be home or if you are not giving out any candy.
- Never let anyone inside your home. Politely refuse trick-or-treaters who ask to use your telephone or bathroom.
- Seek company. If you're worried about staying safe, ask a loved one or friendly neighbor to give out candy with you.
- Call 911 immediately if at any point you do not feel safe in your home. You can also use your Medical Guardian medical alert device to request police officers or a loved one to come to your home and investigate.
Staying Safe While Trick-or-Treating
If you have grandchildren or great-grandchildren, trick-or-treating is one of the best ways to celebrate this holiday with them. But before you venture out, consider these safety precautions so you can enjoy this experience with them.
Check your Halloween costume ideas for safety.
Half the fun of Halloween revolves around dressing up in costumes, but some Halloween costume ideas may not be the safest for older adults. If you plan on dressing up this year, follow these Halloween safety tips so your costume doesn’t get in the way of your trick-or-treating fun:
- Length: To prevent elderly falls, avoid Halloween costume ideas that could turn into a tripping hazard, like long robes, capes and gowns.
- Fit: Although you only wear this costume one night out of the whole year, it’s essential that it fits you properly. Make sure it’s not too long, loose or tight to prevent accidents.
- Accessories: Accessories go hand in hand with planning Halloween costume ideas, but check to be sure that the accessory can’t get caught on anything and that it won’t hurt you if you happen to fall while carrying it.
- Shoes: Stylish shoes may complete your costume, but you’ll be much safer walking in sensible, supportive shoes with nonskid soles.
Prevent elderly falls.
There are many risk factors around this time of year that increase your risk of falling, but taking these steps will help you prevent elderly falls while trick-or-treating with your loved ones:
- Be on the lookout for tripping hazards, like smashed pumpkins, uneven sidewalks, curbs and debris.
- Beware of leaves on the sidewalk. Wet leaves cause some slippery conditions, so be extra careful on pathways covered with leaves.
- Use well-lit sidewalks whenever possible. If your neighborhood doesn’t have any sidewalks, walk as close to the edge of the road facing traffic to avoid accidents.
- Get inside before dark. Poor lighting increases your risk of having an accident, so it’s best to go trick-or-treating when it’s still light out. Carry flashlights for even more visibility.
Even after taking these Halloween safety tips into consideration, accidents can still happen. So if you plan on trick-or-treating with your grandchildren or great-grandchildren, take your Mobile Guardian medical alert device with you. Should an emergency occur while you are out and about, help will be sent to your exact location -- on Halloween, or any other day of the year.