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Halloween 2010: Local events and safety tips

Trick or Treat
Trick or TreatAP Photo_POLFOTO,Carsten Snejbjerg

Happy Halloween!

In order to have a happy Halloween, you need to know what local events are happening and how to go out and have fun safely and responsibly.

Halloween happens to fall on a Sunday this year. And many are celebrating the holiday all weekend long with parties and bar-hopping dressed in Halloween attire and kids (and kids-at-heart) travel around the neighborhood yelling “Trick-or-Treat” to score as much candy as possible. Halloween, according toForbes.com, is a $5 billion industry, and that does not even include the costs of alcohol!

Many adults and children enjoy this holiday where it is socially acceptable to dress up as a favorite celebrity such as Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, a defamed politician, a hot vampire (e.g., Robert Pattison’s character Edward Cullen) a horror-film creature, or anything one’s imagination can conjure up. The possibilities are virtually endless. There is fun to be had and candy to gorge on, but there are also numerous dangers to be on the lookout for to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that during 1975-1996, the number of deaths among young pedestrians was four times higher on Halloween night when compared with the same time period during all other evenings of the year! Employ safety sense when sending your kids out for Halloween.

Tips for keeping kids safe:

  • Young children should be accompanied by at least one responsible (and sober) adult. When trick-or-treating, help children cross the street to avoid being hit by a vehicle and only go to houses that are well lit. Chances are, if a house has no lights on and no decoration, they are not welcoming trick-or-treaters.
  • Watch out for decorations on laws and porches. There can be hazards just walking across a lawn that might be rigged with decorations that can easily trip someone.
  • Be careful of fire! Keep costumes and hair (and wigs) away from lit jack-o-lanterns and candles.
  • Do not allow kids to enter someone’s home unless known well to you. Stay on lit porches to receive treats and do not encourage “tricks.”
  • Make sure your child can see through their costume, especially if he/she is wearing a mask or another covering over the face.
  • Stay in groups and utilize the buddy system, particularly for young children.
  • Inspect candy before allowing your child(ren) to consume. If your child has an allergy, make sure they are not eating candy with the allergen. Educate your child and the adult supervising the trick-or-treating.

Tips for keeping adults safe while partying: (These are safety tips for any time, not just Halloween!)

  • Have a designated driver. Halloween is legendary for parties and bar-hopping, so make sure a member of your group is staying sober, or have money for a cab or bus.
  • Drink sensibly. Avoid drinking from punch bowls and garbage cans. Not only do you not know what and how much alcohol you are ingesting, but these are unfortunately easy places to slip date rate drugs or “roofies.”
  • Never leave your drink unattended, this goes for alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. If possible, pour your own and do not accept drinks from a stranger. Place your thumb over the opening of your beer or other bottled beverage.
  • Eat before you drink. Not doing so can greatly increase your chances of alcohol poisoning. Keep in mind people metabolize alcohol differently. Just because your friend can drink a certain number of drinks without alcohol poisoning does not mean that you can.
  • Pace your drinking. Drink water in between alcoholic drinks. Keep in mind yourblood-alcohol-content can still increase even after you stop drinking. Know the signs of alcohol poisoning (e.g., confusion, vomiting, seizures) and look out for your friends.
  • Have money for an emergency. Maybe your DD has poor impulse control and decides to have a few drinks and is no longer safe to be driving. Have a back-up plan for getting home safely.
  • Eat before you drink. Not doing so can greatly increase your chances of alcohol poisoning.
  • Stay with friends you trust, and/or employ the buddy system. Common sense and inhibitions seem to quickly decline as the amount of alcohol increases. Look out for one another.

Local WNY Events:

Niagara Wine Trail

Hallowine Event: http://www.niagarawinetrail.org/pages/events.html

Celebrate Halloween with the trail’s annual murder mystery! Come as yourself or in costume - Collect the clues and interview a different suspect at each winery on the trail to solve the murder mystery. Submit your guess at your last winery. Correct guesses will be entered in a drawing to win prizes. You do not need to visit each winery to submit your guess.

Tickets good for all three days and includes wine tasting at each winery, a commemorative wine glass from your starting winery and information to solve the crime.

Haunted Houses (Click on names to be directed to information about event)

Fright World– Williamsville, NY

Dark Raven Manor– Clarence, NY

House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs– Depew, NY

Haunted Asylum ofForgotten Souls– Lockport, NY

Lockport Haunted Cave– Lockport, NY

Hamburg Haunted Hayride and Barns of Doom– Hamburg, NY

McDonald’s Scare at the Fair– Erie County Fair Grounds, Hamburg, NY

Nightmares Fear Factory– Niagara Falls, Canada

Screamers House of Horrors– Niagara Falls, Canada

Terror in the Trees– Springville, NY

For more information and safety tips:

http://www.buffaloathome.com

Safety on Halloween

Mayo Clinic

Drinking Safety Tips

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