Everyone here at Tucker Law gets excited for Halloween, especially me. I love getting to be someone else for a day.
My husband Paul and I have had great fun dressing up. Over the years, our costumes have run the gamut: murdered bride groom and murderous bride, Sonny and Cher, presidential candidates, a bottle of Tobasco sauce and a tub of movie pop corn, a cheerleader and a football player — except we reversed roles; he was the cheerleader in a wig, skirt and pompoms, and I was the football player complete with shoulder pads, helmet and the entire uniform.
Once I dressed in a nun’s habit, accurate to the last detail. As I went about my day, I forgot what I looked like, and pretty much literally put the fear of God into two 12-year-old boys who were tearing around an office supply store where I’d stopped. I gave them a stern look, possibly accented with a foot tap, and wow, did they ever calm down.
Later that afternoon, I popped by a friend’s daughter’s house to drop off a baby gift. I knew that she was still in the hospital, but I’d forgotten that her husband had never met me. When he answered the door, I swished in saying, “I’ve brought some things for the new baby.” The poor guy looked like a guppy gasping for air.
I said all this to make sure you know I’m not dissing Halloween. I’m a fan.
I do feel duty-bound to warn you, however, that Halloween and Beggars’ Night — in some places, Des Moines included, they don't necessarily coincide — pose risks for your children and your home and property.
For example, Halloween brings 17% more crime-related insurance claims than any other day of the year, including theft and vandalism.
Here are some preventative measures.
- Clear an easy path for trick-or-treaters to get to your doorstep to avoid liability suits
- Make sure your home is well-lit and shows some activity to deter vandals and break-ins
- Use timers inside and outside of your home, garage and sheds
- Don’t leave lit candles unattended inside a pumpkin or anywhere else
- Put your car(s) in your garage, if you have one
And here are Halloween safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide to prevent your children from becoming a statistic.
Trick-or-treat with children who are under 12 years of age
If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision make sure they
- Trick or treat in groups and stick to areas that are familiar and well lit
- Never go into a stranger's home alone
- Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Look left, right and left again before crossing and keep looking while they cross
- Put electronic devices down
- Walk, don’t run across the street
- Never dart into the street or cross between parked cars
- Decorating costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers
- Using face paint and makeup instead of masks, which can obstruct vision
- Having kids carry glow sticks or flash lights to help them see and be seen
- Choosing costumes that aren’t too big to prevent trips and falls
Just have fun this Halloween, although you might want to make an effort not to frighten unsuspecting husbands and children.