Halloween is an exciting time of the year to dress up, collect treats and take part in spooky festivities with family and friends. With so much to see and do around this holiday, it is important to plan ahead for any events and remember to keep ourselves and others safe. This article will highlight some of the ways you can stay safe on Halloween, so that you can have a good time and avoid any dangers.
What is Halloween?
Halloween is a holiday which is celebrated every year on the 31st of October. Falling on the evening before the ‘All Hallow’s Day’, which is a Christian holy day, Halloween is believed to have originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain, where costumes were worn and bonfires were lit to keep ghosts away. Over time, Halloween evolved into a widely celebrated day which sees people take part in ‘spooky’ activities such as trick-or-treating, dressing up (traditionally in costumes designed to scare others), visiting ‘haunted houses’ and pumpkin carving.
Tips on how to stay safe on Halloween
Follow these handy tips for keeping yourself and children safe during Halloween festivities.
Avoid using makeup with toxins
When it comes to Halloween, makeup can be the staple of someone’s outfit, and there are lots of wacky face-paints and beauty products out there to help make you stand out! That said, there are however beauty products that contain toxic ingredients (such as dyes and occasionally even lead) which can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions. It is therefore recommended that you opt for natural, non-toxic beauty products and test the product on a small patch of skin to ensure that it is safe.
Avoid decorative eye contact lenses
Decorative contact lenses can be found in many fancy dress stores and online retailers, but they can be dangerous. Wearing decorative lenses can cause eye infections and potentially cause serious damage to your eyes if they do not come with a valid prescription. If you want to wear contact lenses, you should purchase these from a store which stock safe lenses with valid prescriptions.
Ensure that costumes are safe to wear
There are a few things to consider when shopping for safe Halloween costumes, especially when there are so many lanterns and candles around, look out for:
With so many flames around, there is an increased fire-risk on Halloween as candles could easily set certain materials alight quickly...which is particularly dangerous for children. Polyester and Nylon are safer, fire-resistant materials which are ideal for costumes and heavier clothing is also a better option, as flimsy materials can set fire much faster. Always check that a Halloween costume is CE marked to ensure it meets health and safety standards.It can also be a good idea to wear clothes under a costume, as Halloween clothing and props should be seen as toys and wearing a layer of clothing between yourself and the costume can offer more protection from flames.
Costumes made using one material
Halloween costumes which are made of a single material are safer options, as they may catch fire slower than those which are made up of a variety of fabrics.
Does the costume have a cape/draping material?
There are a number of hazards associated with capes and draping outfits, including: fire hazards, tripping hazards and choking hazards if a cape is tied too tightly around the neck.
CE marked clothing and accessories
As mentioned, it is important for you to check that any Halloween clothing, accessories and props are CE marked, but it is also essential to check that these items are soft, flexible and will not cause any harm to the wearer or others.
Masks that fit comfortably
It is crucial that masks fit well as this will determine how well you can breathe through the masks and how well you can hear - which is important when you or others are crossing roads.
Check treats and sweets before consuming them
Make sure that any treats collected are sealed and wrapped and check the following: ingredients for allergies, best-before dates and indications that treats have been tampered with. This will ensure that the treats can be safely enjoyed after a long night of trick-or- treating!
Plan your evening in advance
Prepare for your Halloween night in advance. If you are trick-or-treating you should plan your route (potentially asking neighbours if they are happy to be visited) and if you are hosting an event, you should ensure that you are organised and on top of the situation. More importantly, you should make sure that you have taken safety precautions and are prepared for any potential risks so that you can keep yourself and your guests safe.
As your Halloween event may involve lots of physical activities and fire risks (i.e candles and lanterns), there are plenty of opportunities for guests to injure themselves. Here are just some things you can do to keep your event venue safe:
Avoid keeping flames inside of the venue - you could instead opt for battery powered candles to minimise the risk of fire.
Ensure that treats are sealed, also checking that they have not been tampered with.
Have clear allergen labels on snacks to minimise the risk of allergic reactions
Avoid sharp props and decorations which could injure guests.
Keep areas clear to minimise trip hazards
Ensure that the number of guests does not exceed the venue’s capacity - you could look into hiring security to keep an eye on numbers and ensure everyone is kept safe.
Ensure that safety exits are clearly marked and that guests are aware of them
Due to the number of safety risks involved with Halloween events, you may need to consider event insurance for celebrations and parties to cover any issues that may occur.
Wear reflective clothing or bright colours
Ensuring that you are visible will help to keep you safe, especially when crossing roads!
Celebrating Halloween during COVID-19
COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to the 2020 and Halloween will also be affected, as there are certain rules to adhere to so that we can keep each other safe. Please bear in mind that the rules and safety guidance surrounding COVID-19 is always being revised and you should check up on the rules of your local area before engaging in Halloween activities.
Here is a round up of ways to celebrate Halloween during COVID-19 and the safety precautions you will need to follow:
There are lots of pumpkin farms in the UK that you could visit, and, as you will be outside, it is much easier to socially distance and pick your own pumpkin safely. Once you return home, you could then try your hand at pumpkin carving or even make a delicious pumpkin soup!
Socially-distanced Halloween events
You may have socially-distanced Halloween events going on in your local area - why not take a look online at what is planned and see if you can book some tickets to treat you and your family.
If you are looking to host your own socially-distanced Halloween event, you might benefit from our celebrations and parties insurance (although COVID-19 will not be covered within your policy).
Virtual Halloween house party
Virtual events have been tremendously popular during COVID-19...after all, the show must go on, right? With this in mind, why not look into hosting your own virtual Halloween party and bring everyone together during a time where social distancing is imperative. Here are some things you could consider for a Halloween themed party:
A spooky quiz
Arts and crafts sessions
Best dressed competition
Best carved/decorated pumpkin competition
Of course, these are just some things you could include in a virtual Halloween event so you can really let your imagination run wild here!
If you are able to go trick-or-treating in your local area, there are a few rules you will need to adhere to:
Avoid meeting in groups of more than six people
Remain socially distanced from others outside of your household
Avoid trick-or-treating if you are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms
It may also be a good idea for you to check that neighbours are happy to be visited and carry hand-sanitiser so that you can clean your hands before and after touching doorbells and treat bowls. If you are handing out sweets, aim to give trick-or-treaters a single bag of treats so they do not have to touch sweets that others have come into contact with.
Looking to insure a Halloween event?
If you are looking to host a Halloween event and want insurance cover to ensure that you are financially protected in the event of an issue, we have one-off insurance and celebrations and parties insurance cover available, so you can rest assured that everything will run smoothly.