Halloween Safety Tips From the National Security Council
Halloween is a cherished tradition but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. There is no real "trick" to making Halloween a real "treat" for the entire family. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes. The Police Chief has designated the hours for trick-or-treating from 4:00 - 7:00pm.
Both children and adults need to think about safety on this annual day of make-believe.
Motorists -The National Safety Council urges motorists to be especially alert on Halloween:
- Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
Parents - Before children start out on their "trick-or-treat" rounds, parents should:
- Give children any early meal before going out.
- Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12
- Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children's companions.
- Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
- Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and to never enter a stranger's home.
- Establish a return time.
- Tell youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home and it can be inspected. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
- Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
- Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
- Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. (Falls are the leading case of unintentional injuries on Halloween.)
- If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored material. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
- Masks can obstruct a child's vision. Use facial make-up instead.
- When buying special halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," "Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow manufacturer's instructions for application.
- *If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
- Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
- Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
- Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
On the way - Children should understand and follow these rules:
- Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
- Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
- Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
- Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
For these and additional safety tips visit www.nsc.org