10/30/2013 9:52 AM
Trick or Treat! When we think of Halloween, we picture children laughing in colorful costumes, jack-o’-lanterns glowing in house windows, and buckets brimming with candy and treats. Experts warn, however, that this fun-filled night can pose safety hazards. With a few precautions, the evening can be made safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Safety begins at home, with the child’s costume. Follow these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to keep your trick-or-treater safe:
- Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, 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 carry flashlights.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from trippingand falling.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother’s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
- Hats and scarves 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 eye holes large enough to allow full vision.
- Every part of your child’s costume (masks, beards, wigs and clothing) should be made of flame-resistant material.
- Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
Safety at Home
To make your home safe and inviting for trick-or-treaters, leave your front lights on so they may have a well-lit path to your door. A well-lit home also reduces your chances of being “tricked” by vandals!
- Remove items such as planters, hoses and lawn decorations, so your visitors don’t trip on them.
- Keep pets inside, out of harm’s way.
- If you have a candle-lit jack-o’-lantern outside, place it far away from the door, so tiny goblins won’t accidentally brush against them. Keep your indoor jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains and any decorations that could catch fire.
- The CPSC recommends against using candle-lit Halloween luminaries along your walkway; instead, place flashlights inside the bags.
- Young children should not trick-or-treat without an adult or a responsible, older child. Instruct them to stay on the sidewalk and out of the roadway. Remind them to walk, not run, and to go to houses only where they know the people inside. At no time should they enter a house, unless they are with a trusted adult.
- While driving on Halloween, remember that the night will be filled with excited children who may forget their parents’ warnings about street safety. Drive extra carefully, keeping an eye out for youngsters walking between driveways and cars, or crossing in the middle of the block rather than at the corners. Adult Halloween party goers should have a designated driver, of course.
- If you are not walking with your children, make sure you know who is with them and set a time for them to be home. Let them carry a mobile phone in case of emergency.
- Instruct your kids not to eat any of their goodies until a grown-up has had a chance to carefully examine them.
By following these tips, you’ll make Halloween safer, happier, and a little less scary for all the neighborhood boys and ghouls!
Content courtesy of: Wellness Library Health Ink and Vitality Communications,©2013 on behalf of LifeAdvantages.