October is a time for autumn leaves, pumpkins, candy, and Halloween. For many people, October also means a scary visit to a haunted house or two, where they can “enjoy” a good fright full of darkness, eerie noises, evil creatures that cackle, roar, and lung, and dim rooms full of shadows, ghosts, bones, blood, and smoke. The scarier the better, right?
Wrong. If you’re a pregnant woman, scary is not necessarily better. Even if the monsters are only people in costumes and the instruments of torture are settings and props, the fright can be real, and your stress levels could go up as a result. This in itself probably won’t cause any harm, but the combination of this along with treacherous steps and pushy people in cramped dark quarters, could spell trouble.
Therefore it’s not surprising that many haunted houses won’t allow pregnant women to enter. They’re not being prejudiced or trying to spoil your fun, they’re just following precautions. Keep in mind that similar precautions are taken at carnivals and amusement parks with rides like rollercoasters. Such things are not just a risk for you, but for your unborn baby as well.
It’s easy to shrug and say, “Well, all my friends are going, and I don’t want to miss out. I’ll be careful.” If you do visit a haunted house, you and your baby will most likely be fine, BUT—do you really want to risk a but? The simple fact is, people do get hurt in haunted houses, people who aren’t even pregnant. Accidents happen, and chances are increased in a haunted house setting.
I personally visited a highly rated haunted house a few years ago that had heavy “body parts” hanging and swinging from the ceiling of the first room. Lights flickered on and off, and as I attempted my way through the room (like everyone else) one of these body parts hit me in the face. It was a hard blow. I felt something warm and wet, and sure enough, real blood was trickling down from my forehead. This experience ruined the rest of the evening for me, and I had a wound for weeks.
I have also heard people say that when they are in a haunted house and get scared, they bolt—pushing anyone and everyone in their way. Stop and think. That could be you and your unborn baby getting pushed down. Even if no one intentionally pushes you, you could easily trip or fall when a “monster” jumps out at you, or as you are running from the madmen with chainsaws.
So think twice before entering the threshold of a haunted house. In fact, you may want to think of another idea entirely. There are plenty of safe ways to enjoy Halloween while still having fun, such as by watching a scary movie, making caramel apples, going to a costume party, a harvest fair, or a pumpkin patch.
Your little pumpkin will thank you.
For those pregnant women who do plan to visit a haunted house, check out how to play it safe!