Special Halloween Edition - Halloween Safety Precautions
Halloween Safety Precautions
October, 2003 - Special Halloween Edition
Halloween is an age-old tradition that we have all enjoyed, regardless of the ages and generations involved. It is especially exciting for younger children as they make their neighborhood tours "trick or treating." The real "TRICK" to Halloween is to have the excitement and keeping it safe for the whole family. The witches and goblins are not the real dangers, but falls and pedestrian/car accidents are the things that we really need to be aware of.
The National Safety Council urges motorist to be especially alert on Halloween and be cognizant of these tips of precaution;
- Watch for kids darting out from behind parked cars.
- Watch for kids walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Watch closely when entering driveways and alleys.
- Watch for children in dark clothing.
- Make sure that children under 12 years old have a responsible adult accompany them on their neighborhood treks.
- Plan and discuss the route that they should follow on their trip and stay in familiar areas.
- Remind them to only visit well-lighted homes and stay away from darkly lit ones.
- Wait until they return home to taste their goodies and let an adult inspect them for foreign objects.
- Orient them on the pertinent safety precautions, both pedestrian and traffic rules.
- Outfit the youngsters in fire-retardant costumes, making sure the fit is loose to fit over their regular garments, especially in areas that have colder nights. The garments should not be too long so that they may trip or fall.
- Place reflective tape on dark costumes, front and back, to enhance their visibility.
- For facial designs, use makeup where possible to reduce the chance of a mask obstructing the child's vision.
- If masks are chosen, be sure to have them with nose and mouth holes and large eyeholes for increased visibility.
- Not allow them to carry sharp instruments as part of their costumes, if so make sure the material is cardboard or soft plastic.
- Add a couple of strips of reflective tape to their 'trick or treat' bags for extra safety, if they will be out after dark.
- Give them a flashlight for better visibility and it will serve as an extra safety device for others to see them.
- Establish a time for their return home, even with the adult chaperone. One never knows what can happen as a pedestrian or maybe having car problems will make the adults at home worry, if they aren't home in a reasonable length of time.
- Pin a note on the inside pocket of a garment that they are wearing with an address and telephone number, so that if they get separated, they will have some identification.
TIPS WHILE "TRICK OR TREATING"
- Do not enter an apartment or homes without adult supervision.
- Walk from dwelling to dwelling, don't run. Use sidewalks, where possible instead of yards where unseen obstacles may cause a trip or fall.
- If you have to walk in the streets, walk on the left side, facing the traffic.
Halloween is a special time for all our youngsters, but precautions should be taken to insure their safety. The above tips will help to serve as reminders that might save an accident or a flagrant mishap involving our kids or any kids for that matter.
HALLOWEEN TREATS - WHEN IN DOUBT THROW THEM OUT!!
Ted Gordon is the Risk Management/Loss Control Manager for the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. His office is located in the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center, in Verona, MS. His telephone number is 662-566-2201.