Halloween dangers are lurking around every corner

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By Hannah Yazdi

Messenger Staff Writer

When you think of the word ‘scary’ on Halloween, what comes to mind? Maybe ghosts, goblins, zombies… but what about the real dangers of the not only accepted, semmingly social obligation of wandering around neighborhoods aimlessly, knocking on stranger’s doors, and receiving candy you have no idea whom it is coming from. Sounds a little more harmful when you break it down, huh?
When thinking about some of the hazards Halloween can cause, many are very realistic, but many, parents seem to overlook. Starting with candy, the horrifying reality that it could be tampered with, let alone what the stranger has done to it, or what it could do to the consumer.
“One time I opened a snickers and there was a razor blade in there. The rapper was sealed too,” explained Ryan Arnel, a freshman at Placer High. Parents or guardians of young children or teenagers who still trick or treat on Halloween, should always examine candy or treats they get from all houses before consuming it.
What about the fact that you can’t see anything! Not only is it a trend to go at night for a fun addition to the scary scene, but all you can see is people in costumes. Maybe that killer costume is an actual killer, and there is no way you would know. This is the perfect way for any criminal to disguise themselves without being prominent in a crowd, easily making the acts of kidnapping, drugging, or even murder much more possible, maybe even without suspicion. However, witnesses in these situations can only provide a description of a Halloween costume…something thousands of people are wearing that night. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate, it just means you have to be careful.
Kids under certain age should always go with a trusted adult. Teens should do their best to stay in touch with their parents, whether it’s tracking their phone that night, checking in with them, or not staying out too late. No matter what age you are, if you’re planning to go out on Halloween. Always. Be. Safe. Don’t do anything reckless- implying going to a strange party you see down the block. Settle for pigging out on candy in the safety of your living room. (With spooky music playing in the background, of course.)
However, not all dangers are caused by other people, but Halloween commonalities, such as the beautifully carved pumpkin on your porch becoming an arsonist. The flame could catch on anything from costumes to near-by plants if placed in the wrong spot, causing a house to burn down, or some kid getting burns on their skin. Ultimately, it’s so easy to prevent this from happening. When finding a spot for your potentially hazardous decorations, simply keep them away from anything that could catch flame- preferably in a spot around nothing. Place any decorations containing fire away from any other decor, away from the house, away from plants, and do not put it out if it’s a windy night, so the wind doesn’t catch a flame.
As many dangers as other factors can cause, what if you could even cause them yourself? Yes, that flowy, long pirate dress might look adorable on you, until you trip over it and break your nose. Costumes should not always touch the ground, you could get seriously injured or someone else could trip you. Falling is common on Halloween, and inappropriate shoes are probably one of the biggest contributors. You’re walking around on overly-high heels? Bad idea. Why not settle for some comfy, AND stylish shoes when you’re walking around all night? Better safe than sorry.
Not everybody decides to walk around, but they drive around. And nothing is harder for a driver trying desperately to avoid hitting pedestrians in the dark (not including the fact that it’s pitch black outside, and a victim could come out at any said time). If you feel the need to go driving around on Halloween, you should try to drive in areas that aren’t as busy: like on major public roads, and staying away from busy neighborhoods, and no driving fast!
As silly as it sounds, you’re going to get kids out there with costume weapons that can either cause real damage, or might even be real. Perhaps, a pirate with a sharp sword, or a baseball player with a bat, or a police officer with an airsoft gun. You should always make sure you watch out for improper use of toy weapons that can easily turn into real weapons. This is obviously more dependant on the child holding the weapon, but bottom line is, don’t bring something out on Halloween that can genuinely hurt someone.
And lastly, what if you’re not going out on Halloween, you still want to participate, right? You bought a big bag of candy and are expecting trick or treaters, but you forgot about the obstacle course that is your front lawn… don’t be the reason some child breaks their ankle on Halloween night, and rid the front of house of anything that could cause any type of injury. You can always design your house with decorations that won’t hurt anybody- for example, put cotton webs high above where most heads will be, and have a clear pathway, possibly lined with decorations rather than having them across the pathway.
Don’t allow these warning signs to decimate your Halloween plans this upcoming October- or make you paranoid that the end of the night will result in a trip to the ER; but keep in mind you can take small steps to a safe and fun night.

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