According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) more than 171 million Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year, spending an average of $82.93, up from last year’s $74.34. Total spending is expected to reach $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey. The survey also finds that 7 in 10 consumers plan to hand out candy, and nearly half will decorate their home or dress in costume.
With more and more people getting in on the fun, it’s important to brush up on keeping your home, children, and families safe during the holiday.
When you invite someone on your property, you are responsible for making sure the property is safe and free from dangerous conditions. According to a study conducted by the Department of Research and Scientific Affairs, children ages 10-14 suffered the greatest amount of injuries on Halloween. To ensure the safety of children (and the adults who accompany them):
Halloween is not a dog’s best friend. The night will be full of knocks, loud noises, and strangers in unusual costumes yelling for candy. Dogs may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters (or worse). Put your dog in a secure room, away from the front door, in order to prevent any unwanted or unsafe encounters.
Keep candlelit jack o’lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended. Costumes, paper decorations, and ornamental straw can easily catch on fire. Instead of a traditional candle, consider battery powered options.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records, pedestrian fatalities increase three-fold on Halloween. Because excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, motorists and parents must be even more alert. To avoid pedestrian accidents:
It’s wise to avoid driving on any major holiday, but Halloween poses a heightened risk of intoxicated drivers on the roadway. As a “party” holiday, you can expect more irresponsible drivers on the road. Halloween falls on a Monday night this year, so expect most parties to take place the previous weekend. Play it safe by staying in or carpooling the weekend before and the night of Halloween. If your children plan on trick-or-treating, tell them to double-check for cars before crossing the street and not to assume that a driver will stop for them.