Tricks and treats to ensure a safe and spook-tacular Halloween

Halloween has become increasingly popular in Australia with many people using the occasion to dress up, decorate their house, and go trick or treating.

To ensure your night doesn’t end with a fright follow our safety tips below.

Check toys and novelties for button batteries

Many small toys and novelty items contain button batteries. When buying light up or musical Halloween novelties that are powered by button batteries, you should check the battery compartment is secured with a screw or similar fastener to prevent little ones gaining access to the battery.

Check that Halloween novelties are age appropriate and don’t pose choking hazards.

The statistics on button batteries aren’t pretty. In Australia one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or inserting a button battery, with some of them sustaining lifelong injuries.

Products that comply with mandatory standards designed to keep little ones safe will have secure battery compartments and safety labelling.

If you suspect a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for 24/7 fast, expert advice. If your child is having any difficulty breathing, contact 000.

Avoid disappearing into the night

When designing or picking a costume make sure it is visible. If you or your children will be wearing black or other dark coloured costumes for Halloween, you could be hard to see in the dark. To ensure drivers and other trick-or-treaters can see you, add glow sticks or a reflective strip to your costumes and carry a torch.

Look for ingredient labelling

Who doesn’t love dressing up? If you’re adding fake tattoos, face paint, makeup or fake blood, to your costume you should check they come with ingredients labels and keep them handy throughout the night.

If someone in your group has an allergic reaction to a product, having a list of ingredients available for doctors can save them vital time when determining how to treat them.

Don’t end your night in a flash of light and a puff of smoke

With so many ready-made costumes, wigs, masks and accessories to choose from make sure you check their labels. Pick items that are low fire risk and look for labels that state the product is ‘flame resistant’ or ‘fire resistant’.  Avoid products that carry warnings such as ‘keep away from flame’ or ‘Warning! Keep away from fire’.

Take care to keep away from open heat sources such as jack-o-lanterns, fireplaces and heaters and avoid loose fitting costumes, particularly if you or your little ones will be around candles.