With advice ranging from how to dress children safely to ensuring homeowners take the right precautions, these tips can make Halloween spooky without becoming a safety fright:
• Be sure your child’s costume is large enough to be worn over warm clothes but is not so long he or she could trip. Bright, colorful costumes that reflect light and can easily be seen by drivers are best. Choose flame-resistant costume accessories or props. Shoes should be comfortable and safe for walking.
• Stick with makeup or face paint for finishing touches to a costume. Wigs and masks could interfere with your child’s vision.
• Trick-or-treat with your children and visit homes that you know well. Remind children to walk, stay on sidewalks and cross streets at crosswalks or well-lighted intersections. Try to finish trick-or-treating before dark and have a flashlight handy just in case.
• Remember, pedestrian safety is a much more important safety issue than candy tampering on Halloween.
• Monitor how much candy children eat; their bellies could haunt them later.
• Be sure children eat before going out trick-or-treating, and take along a few healthy treats in a separate bag for snacking.
• Check your child’s treats and throw away anything that is not securely wrapped.
• Do not allow your child to eat any candy until you or another adult in your household has checked it for tampering. The wrapper should be intact on all candy and fruit should be undamaged, washed and cut before eating.
• Do not permit children to eat homemade treats unless you know and trust the person who made them.
• Young children should not have gum, nuts, hard candies, seeds or other choking hazards such as toys with small parts.
• Call the police if you suspect tampering – tasting is not a safe way to test.
• Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 if your child swallows something suspicious or potentially harmful. The Poison Center is available 24/7 and staffed with pharmacists and nurses specially trained in poison treatment.
• Consider hosting a Halloween party instead of sending kids trick-or-treating.
• Paint your pumpkins instead of carving. Carving knives are dangerous and the candles used inside carved pumpkins are fire hazards.
• Another option for lighting your pumpkin is to use flameless candles.
• If do you light a jack-o-lantern this year, keep it away from your front door or porch so costumes do not catch fire.
• Never leave a lighted pumpkin unattended.
• Leave on both your indoor and outdoor lights if you want visits from trick-or-treaters.
• Clear the walkway to your door of decorations, hoses, toys, wet leaves or other items that could injure hurrying children.