When we were kids, Halloween meant costumes, endless candy, and friends. Thankfully, as adults, Halloween is still a night of tricks-and-treats, often celebrated with friends and family at a party or a bar. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, 30% of adults will celebrate the holiday with friends, and over 60% of those ages 18-24 will attend or host a Halloween party. Though some of the rules of safety from trick-or-treating still apply to adults—travel in groups, carry a flashlight, avoid eating handmade treats made by strangers—celebrating like an adult presents its own set of challenges.
Whether your plans take you out on the town or to a house party, awareness is the key to staying safe in every situation. Here are 5 ways to keep yourself safe this Halloween:
1. Practice the buddy system: Whether your Wonder Woman costume designates you as part of a Justice League, or you’re flying solo, safety in numbers is key. We’re taught the buddy system as kids because it’s smart, and it works. Instead of walking by yourself to that party, or from your car or home, ask a friend to travel with you. It will make the trip more fun, and will ensure you’re not alone. If a small amount of solo-walking cannot be avoided, apps such as Companion (for iPhone and Android) allow you to share your GPS location with others, so you’ll always be able to see that your friends, and in turn let your friends see that you, make it home safely. Or, carry a self-protection device like TigerLady, a set of claws that come out between your fingers as fast as you can make a fist.
2. Leave a trail: Always let someone else know what your plans are before a night out. Tell a roommate, a sibling, a parent, or a friend; it’s important for someone to know where you are headed. If something happens and you don’t make it home, that person could truly be a lifesaver. If you’re going to an unfamiliar place, make sure that you know the address and pay attention to nearby landmarks. If you find yourself separated from friends or family, you’ll have better points of reference for arranging a meeting place.
3. Designate a sober driver, or arrange transportation at the beginning of the night: If you’ll be drinking, it’s important that you know how you’ll be getting home. Make the decision, and the arrangements, before you have a drink. You’ll be less likely to make impulsive and unwise decisions, like taking a ride from someone who should not be driving or does not have your best interests at heart. Another option is to elect a sober driver or “point person”—even if you’ll be on foot or taking public transportation, having a clear head in charge of key decision making is the best way to guarantee you get from point A to point B with no distractions.
4. Never leave a party with a stranger: You bonded over a shared hatred of pumpkin spice, and naturally you’re meant to be. Love at first sight, right? Unfortunately, you can’t trust everyone you meet, and you certainly can’t trust your judgment if you have been drinking. If you want to go somewhere quiet to talk to that cute guy, ask a friend to come with you, and save that first solo date for a time when you’re less party-focused and more clear-headed. Additionally, Halloween makes us feel comfortable pretending to be someone else, so it may not be the best time for this type of interaction, as consequences may not feel as real for you when you’re pretending to be someone else.
5. Never leave your drink unattended, and stay away from the punch: Hairy Buffalo, Jungle Juice, whatever it’s called in your city, it’s never wise to drink from a tub or punch bowl. These mixtures are notoriously designed to be potent, and they may contain numerous strong alcohols. Furthermore, you have no way of knowing what is in the mixture. Even if you are close friends with the people throwing the party, easy access means it’s easy for someone to slip something in the punch that shouldn’t be in there. Stick to a beer that’s been opened in front of you, or a drink that you mix yourself (from a bottle with a label.) If there’s a keg, fill your own cup or watch it happen. Never leave your drink unattended. Set your drink down for one minute and then lose track of it? Get yourself a new one.
Whether your plans find you at a movie night with your closest friends or a big night on the town, you can feel confident this Halloween with a little extra effort. Use the buddy system and leave a trail of communication. Designate a sober friend, and keep an eye on your drink. Take a few extra steps at the beginning of the night so you can enjoy the fun without worry.
Feel like you need an extra boost of confidence? It’s always a good idea to carry a self-protection device. For a great option, check out TigerLady, a new tool tool that’s always ready and gives you the added confidence of claws. Save 15% on your order with code: HALLOWEEN.
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