There's scary -- you know, the fun kind where we all know at the end of the movie that the shark isn't really that big and doesn't really eat boats. And then there's scary, like spending time in the ER or the ICU because the driver didn't see little Suzie dart across the street in her adorable witch costume with the big-wart-on-the-nose-mask that kept her from seeing the car.
Halloween should be fun, and being a little careful while you're out pillaging the neighborhoods for full-size Butterfingers -- easier to find where the docs and the lawyers live -- is as simple as these tips.
(c) Rochelle Hartman
In 2001, candy was responsible for 19% of all chokings in kids 14 and under seen in the ER. Most of the time it was hard candy, but they were choking on chocolate, too. Before the kids attack their Halloween booty, I recommend brushing up on your Heimlich skills -- and don't forget to have them brush their teeth afterward.
Four times as many kids are killed by cars on Halloween than on any other night of the year. Kids need to be easily seen by drivers and need to know the rules of the road: cross only at corners, with adults, in a group.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images
While there's not much evidence of homemade ghost costumes bursting into grand fireballs at the mere touch of a Jack O'Lantern's meager flame, common sense and the Consumer Product Safety Commission dictate that a little consideration should be given to the purchase of flame-retardant costumes. If you must build your own robot costume, stick with stuff that doesn't burn easily. While you're at it, keep the swords and pitchforks nice and soft.
Placing Jack and his candle a tad farther away from walkways and preschoolers is a pretty good idea as well. Indeed, keeping candles out of the equation altogether is the best choice, but some purists out there still like the flickering, eerie glow that comes only with real flame. In that case, practice proper candle safety and never let a candle burn in a room unattended.
Of course a real candle demands a real gourd -- those store-bought, Styrofoam doodads are just too perfect for a real Halloween house. Not to mention, the candle would melt it. So even though homemade may not be the way to go for costumes, carving is still the preferred method for pumpkins. If you're going to DIY then DI right. A 2004 study from SUNY indicated that pumpkin carving tools are safer than kitchen knives for making ghoulish faces. Get the right tool for the job and keep the blood fake.