October Extra - Halloween Safety
October 5, 2007
Halloween is always a fun time for children. It is also a time that we should be extra careful for the possibility of safety hazards that could ruin the fun of Halloween with an injury or accident. I want to send this out early so that you will be able to pass this out in your areas in advance of the actual holiday.
Following are some tips that I hope will aid everyone, if practiced, in keeping the children safe and out of “harm’s way” this season:
- Choose a costume made from flame retardant material and bright colors for night protection.
- The length of the outfit should be short enough to avoid a child from tripping on the bottom of it.
- A good safety item for kids is to get some strips of reflective tape and apply across the back and front of the costumes or the candy bag to magnify their identity at night.
- Make sure that the mask fits well so that they can maintain good visibility through the eyeholes.
- If they choose face paint, make sure that it is non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
- If the costumes have knives or swords, make sure that the material is soft and flexible to protect them from getting stuck in case of a fall or making accidental contact with another “trick or treater.”
TRICK OR TREATING TIPS:
- All children should be well supervised when “trick or treating.” Younger kids around nine years and younger should be chaperoned by an adult, which affords more scrutiny than supervision. I see adults in the street visiting with others, while leaving so many kids to come to our door alone. It would be safer if they were closer for better scrutiny of their safety.
- Older kids should travel in groups and stay in well known neighborhoods.
- All kids, regardless of age, should visit well-lit neighborhoods.
- Always give them a flashlight with good batteries.
- Travel in the neighborhoods with the defined, well-lit streets and sidewalks. Avoid dark streets and avoid taking shortcuts across yards or uncharted courses.
- Obey all traffic signals and all the rules of the road.
- When driving from one area to another, drive slowly.
CANDY SAFETY TIPS:
- Instruct the children to bring their entire candy home before “munching” so that it can be inspected for tampering. A good tip to help avoid the munching before you have a chance to inspect it is to feed them before they go out. However, we fed ours before trick or treat time, and he still munched on his trick or treat goods. After they were inspected, he ate again.
- They shouldn’t take candy that isn’t commercially wrapped and don’t accept homemade candy.
- Parents, when screening the candy, throw out any small toys, hard candy, or peanuts that might pose a choking hazard for the real small kids.
- If they get fruits, make sure that it is washed thoroughly and check them for pinholes, cuts or other ways of tampering before letting them eat them.
GENERAL SAFETY TIPS:
- Homeowners or dwellers should remove obstacles on Halloween night that might cause injury. Keep your pets restrained, especially if they have an ambitious personality.
- Provide treats that are individually wrapped and a good idea is to even provide non-food treats, like face stickers, small school supplies, etc.
- Using artificial lights or battery-operated candles is safer than real candles, like the old time real pumpkin jack-o-lanterns that we all had.
- Adults – If going to Halloween parties, practice good safety and driving habits.
DON’T GET SPOOKED BY SAFETY !
BE AWARE ~ BE ALERT ~ BE ALIVE