Group of laughing adults at a halloween party

5 Ways to Host a Safe Halloween Party

Halloween is one of the most fun holidays of the year, but that doesn’t mean we should let our guard down when it comes to safety. Keep these things in mind when planning a Halloween party.

Don’t Drive During Trick-or-Treat Hours

Ideally, host your party on a day other than Halloween. That allows parents to both take their kids trick-or-treating and attend your party. If they have to be on the same day, begin your party before trick-or-treaters come out in force, and have it end after all the kids have gone home.

Driving through a throng of kids is both dangerous and frustrating. Some kids get overly excited about the day and forget to stay out of the street even if they’re normally good about it. There’s also plenty of small kids who can be difficult to see. Finally, dark costumes can make children harder to spot as the sun goes down. Driving during this time is just a recipe for disaster.

Be Careful with Dry Ice

Dry ice creates a great spooky mist, but it’s also dangerous. Make sure it’s out of reach of children. If being used in a punch bowl, nest two bowls inside one another. The larger one holds the dry ice while the smaller holds the punch. Dry ice is not for ingestion or touching. It’s a chuck of frozen carbon dioxide, cooled to about 100 degrees below zero.

group of young people celebrating halloween party in costumes drinking beer

Keep Costumes Safe

Extravagant costumes can be gorgeous, but they also pose a lot of logistical problems. Urge people to avoid unwieldy costumes, including garments which can be tripped on, large costumes which can run into objects and break them, anything with a blade, billowing drapes of fabric which can catch on things or be ignited by candles, and so on.

If people are going to wear masks, ask for them to not put them on until they reach the party. Masks can significantly obscure vision, making it dangerous to drive and even to walk up to the porch.

Clear the Walkway of Obstructions

Lots of us decorate our lawns for Halloween, but make sure the walkway is given a wide berth. People will be negotiating it in costume and in the dark.

Use Artificial Candles

While real candles make a great touch at an elegant, non-costume party, they can be dangerous with a house full of people wearing awkward costumes. Not only might they ignite someone’s outfit, but a knocked over taper can burn carpet, curtains, furniture and more, leading to a potentially catastrophic fire.

Every party has its complications, and Halloween parties are no different. However, a bit of preparation and common sense can ensure you have a safe event on one of the most fun nights of the year.

Images Copyright: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo and kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo.

group of friends partying with glitter

Safety Tips for House Parties

There’s a lot of things to keep track of when planning a party. No matter what kind of party you’re throwing, from birthday to bachelorette parties, you must remember to protect your guests.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Even if you’re planning on totally boozing it up, non-alcoholic drinks are an absolute requirement. Designated drivers are going to appreciate it, and the option will encourage alcohol drinkers to moderate their alcohol consumption with other beverages. The selection can be as simple as water, or you can offer soda, coffee, tea, juice or other drink.

Just make sure no one is under the impression drinking these beverages will sober them up. If you’re drunk before that cup of coffee, you’ll be drunk after it. Hydration does, however, stave off things like hangovers.

Insist on “Invitation Only”

When you plan a party, the number of attendees is a major factor in your decision-making. That’s why you ask for RSVPs. But while a couple of unreserved friends showing up might not be a problem, them bringing their own friends quickly turns into a nightmare.

You invited people into your home because you like them and trust them. You didn’t put all this effort into an event to be saddled with strangers you don’t know, don’t like, or don’t trust.

If your friends are so sure their buddy would be a great fit, all they need to do is contact you ahead of time and ask. It’s not your fault if they couldn’t extend this basic courtesy. It’s an uncomfortable task, but give uninvited visitors the boot.

girl putting cigarette in ashtray at crazy party
Make clear what is and isn’t acceptable on your property, such as smoking, drinking or vaping. Never allow illegal substances. It can get you in trouble even if you aren’t partaking.

Have a Plan

You should have an idea how you’re going to respond to common situations. If a guest attempts to go home drunk, what do you do? Pay for a taxi? Have a friend drive? Offer a place to crash? What do you do if he refuses these options?

Call the Police

Sometimes, no matter how well you plan, things get out of control. If this is the case, call the police, and don’t feel guilty about it. If your guests are behaving so badly that you’re considering this option, they have gone well beyond violating your hospitality, and you don’t owe them a thing.

When possible, issue a warning. Either they leave, or the police are being called. Them promising to “settle down” is not good enough. If they’re that out of control, you need them out of your house.

A lot of responsible party planning involves keeping control of the situation. Set clear boundaries: where people can go, what they can do, and who is welcome. If your boundaries are violated, be polite but firm. Guests need to either honor your wishes or be unwelcome. Keeping control of your party will let everyone have a much more enjoyable evening.

Older Kids Jumping with Pool Toys

5 Ways To Keep Your Pool Party Safe

Summer is here, and what better way for the kids to enjoy the sun than with a pool party? But let’s keep everyone safe around the water. Here’s 5 ways to keep everyone safe at your next pool party.

1. Require Parent Attendance

Parents should not be dropping their children off at a pool party. Make it clear on the invitations that parent attendance in required. There is no way you can safely supervise numerous small children all at once.

For children who cannot swim, a parent needs to be with them in the pool at all times, even if they are supposed to remain in the shallow end where they can stand. It’s easy for a small child to slip and not be able to stand up once fully underwater. They can also easily wander into deeper water or be pushed by other children.

For parents of older children who can swim, it may be fine for them to lounge at the side of the pool and socialize. The just need to remember to keep an eye on their kid.

2. Designate a Lifeguard

Even with parents in attendance, it’s a good idea to have someone acting as lifeguard, watching the entire pool rather than being focused on a single kid. This should also be someone who is a strong swimmer who can perform a rescue if necessary.

3. Clear the Area of Non-Swimmers

Children should be kept well away from the pool area if they are not getting into or out of the pool. This avoids the potential for slip and falls. The area should also be kept free of toys, drinks and other objects which are tripping hazards.

Little kid at the pool in inflatable ring

4. Require Parent Permission to Get in the Water

It’s vitally important for children to approach the pool only when an adult knows they are going to be there. There may come a time when everyone expected to get out of the pool, such as for food. Children sneaking back to the pool without supervision creates a dangerous situation. This reinforces the need for parents to keep an eye on their children even when they are not expected to be in the pool.

5. Cover Pool Rules at the Beginning of the Party

Before anyone goes into the water, review all rules with the children. They can’t be expected to know them if no one tells them, and you shouldn’t presume they’ve been taught by other sources. Besides things already mentioned here, rules might include:

  • No running near the pool
  • No jumping into the pool, or only jumping in designated areas
  • No pushing people underwater
  • No pushing people into the pool
  • No drinks in or near the pool