A few safety tips can protect children who plan to go trick-or-treating this Halloween.
Treats: Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
- To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes . Mother' s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
- Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.
- Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street. Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
- Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
- People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.
TIPS FOR PARENTS ABOUT TREATS
- Children shouldn't snack while they're out trick-or-treating. They should wait until they get home and parents have had a chance to inspect the goodies. To help prevent children from munching, give them a snack or light meal before they go--don't send them out on an empty stomach.
- Tell children not to accept--and, especially, not to eat--anything that isn't commercially wrapped.
- When children bring their treats home, discard any home-made candy or baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
- Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
- If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween parties, make sure it is pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy harmful bacteria. Juice or cider that has not been treated will say so on the label.
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