You took the perfect family outing to the harvest festival. You had the little one pick out the perfect pumpkin. If your kido is anything like mine, you probably paid for more than one, as mine decided to demonstrate where Smashing Pumpkins got their band name.
Now you have your perfect pumpkin at home and you haven’t quiet decided how to carve it yet. Do you go big or go home? Get the Dremel out with the 14 different heads you have purchased for this exact moment? Do you go for the Darth Vader pumpkin or do you play by the rules and go for the basic jack-o-lantern to make your kid remember his happy little pumpkin? Come on he is only 1, he will love that Darth Vader’s eyes glow with the candle light flickering! You have stayed up all night and it doesn’t look anything close to Darth Vader, but hey, your kid will love it either way.
Before you head outside and light that candle inside the pumpkin, reconsider a battery operated flickering candle. This will reduce the risk of your pumpkin becoming a fire hazard. This prevents kids brushing up against the pumpkin with their costumes possibly exposing them to the flame of a candle and possibly being injured. Other tips we found from the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA):
Download these NFPA safety tips for Halloween(PDF, 348 KB)
Tips from the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA)
- When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric. If you are making your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
- Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
- Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
- Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
- If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.