In this instalment of our survival guide, Conor O’Nolan imparts invaluable advice to help you survive everyone’s favourite pagan holiday. Observer Science and Health – mothering you so that your mother doesn’t have to.

Face paint

Face paint is the key element of innumerable Halloween costumes. It might seem relatively innocuous, but face paint, especially its cheaper varieties, can do nasty things to your skin.

If you’re going to use some, test it a day beforehand to make sure you don’t have a reaction to it. Don’t use it near your eyes and clean it off properly whenever you go to sleep. If you do get a reaction to it, wash it all off with some saline, because plain water won’t clear it all off quickly. If the irritation persists, go to a doctor!


Halloween festivities come with some common risks that people rarely take into consideration. People are generally too concerned with looking the part rather than really thinking about the potential dangers of the night. Two things to take into consideration; how warm your costume will keep you, and how visible you are.

Halloween night, being, as it is, towards the end of the year means that the sun will set at 16:56 (allowing for the clocks going back on the 29th of this month). If you’re wearing a dark costume, it wont be easy to see you, so when you’re travelling to wherever you’re trick or treating that night, try to be careful as drivers won’t be able to see you.

Similarly, being so close to winter, it’s starting to get cold outside. Try to plan a costume that will keep you warm when you’re outside. That ‘sexy’ bunny costume you’re planning won’t be so sexy when you have hypothermia at the end of the night. Carry a coat – it won’t look great, but it’s better than being sick.


Fireworks are something that have been consistently demonised by Irish authorities (the main reason being that they’re illegal, and also somewhat dangerous), and if you’ve seen pictures of firework burns, you’ll understand why.

If you’re going to be using fireworks, read the labels, follow the directions and stay sober. Alcohol impairs your judgment severely and you could just end up getting hurt.

If you do get burned by a firework, take care of the burn. If it’s fairly minor, cool it and wrap it in some gauze (nothing with cotton in it). If you’re in a lot of pain, take some painkillers (following the recommended dose!) and get it checked out as soon as possible. If it’s bad, call an ambulance with your unburned hand and get the professionals to sort you out.