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All About Halloween Safety

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Each year, on October 31, millions of American children will dress up in costumes and go door-to-door begging for candy. Admittedly a rather strange tradition on close examination, Trick-or-Treating is a cultural celebration which can be fun but can also pose risks. This year, practice these safety tips so you and your family will enjoy a happy and safe Halloween:

Costume Precautions

  • If you buy your costume, ask an adult to check to see if it has a label that says “Flame Resistant.” Flame Resistant means that your costume will be hard to catch on fire and if it does, the fire will go out fast.
  • If you make your costume, try not to make one that is big and baggy so that the material doesn’t touch candles or other flames.
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is blunt, short and flexible.
  • Only use decorative contact lenses after an eye examination and prescription from an eye care professional. Decorative contact lenses are dangerous and illegal. Poor quality lenses can cause pain, inflammation and serious eye disorders or infections, which could cause permanent vision loss.
  • Test makeup in a small area before applying en masse. Also, remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
  • Choose masks, costumes and shoes fit well.

Fire Safety

  • Avoid candles and Jack-o’-lanterns on steps or porches. Many costumes are highly flammable.
  • Don’t allow children to carry candles while trick-or-treating. (Use a flashlight or glow stick instead.)
  • Remind family members to keep a safe distance between candles and Jack-o’-lanterns and curtains.
  • If your kids see anyone playing with matches or lighters, make sure they know they should tell an adult right away!
  • Make sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant.
  • Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
  • Keep your pets far away from open flames. Their tails can swat at candles and cause a fire hazard.

Safety on the Trick-or-Treat Trail

  • Provide kids and escorts with flashlights and fresh batteries.
  • Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Allow kids to go to only approach homes that have a lit porch light
  • Make sure your trick-or-treaters know they should never enter a home or car for a treat.
  • Make sure kids only eat factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats if they have been made by strangers.
  • Use reflective tape for costumes and candy bags.
  • Make sure someone in each group has access to a cellphone for quick communication.
  • Tell kids not to eat treats until they have been checked by an adult for potential choking hazards or tampering.
  • Tell kids to remain on well-lit streets to stay on the sidewalk.
  • If sidewalks are unavailable, tell kids to walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic and never to cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Make sure children know they shouldn’t cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Since motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters, yield to oncoming traffic.
  • Notify law enforcement authorities immediately if you notice anything suspicious.

Safe Home Décor

  • Don’t let small children carve pumpkins. Instead, let them draw faces with markers. Leave carving to the adults.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you must use a candle, choose a votive, which is the safest option.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects.
  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, remove everything from the porch and front yard that could trip up a child. Consider items such as hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decor.
  • Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • If your yard contains wet leaves or snow, sweep or shovel sidewalks and steps.
  • Restrain pets so they won’t inadvertently jump on or bite trick-or-treaters.

For More Tips about Halloween Safety

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Halloween Safety Tips

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
BE SAFE

BE SAFE

Trick-or-treating is a traditional childhood holiday favorite. But while fun may be a child’s main priority, safety is the top concern for parents. Horror stories about ghosts and goblins, and even scarier real-life tales of kidnappers and poisonend treats, are legitimate causes for fear on October 31.

Several organizations provide Halloween safety tips, including Allied Universal, Inc. We have compiled the following simple instructions to give kids a, safe, fun, exciting holiday experience, while providing parents with peace of mind.

Allied Universal Top 20 Tips for a safe and sane Halloween:

  1. If possible, send a responsible teenager or adult to escort your kids.
  2. Prepare the route in advance.
  3. Tell people where you plan to go.
  4. Make sure costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or potential contact with flames.
  5. Dress in light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are visible. (Also, remember to put reflective tape on bikes, skateboards and brooms, too!)
  6. Use non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup and small decorative hats as safe alternatives to toxic materials and large caps that could block vision.
  7. Before they head out, casually remind your children to “Stop-Drop-Roll” in the unlikely event that their clothes catch fire. Try not to alarm them. You want them to be prepared instead of scared.
  8. To prevent possible fire, use only battery-powered lanterns or chemical lightsticks in place of candles in decorations and costumes.
  9. Look both ways before crossing the street, checking carefully for cars, trucks and low-flying brooms.
  10. Cross the street only at corners.
  11. Never hide or dart between parked cars.
  12. Walk, slither and sneak on sidewalks instead of the street.
  13. Carry a flashlight and extra batteries, to light the way.
  14. Only visit homes that have illuminated porch lights.
  15. Keep costumes away from open fires and candles. (Bear in mind that many are flammable.)
  16. Accept treats at the door instead of entering strangers’ homes.
  17. Be cautious of strangers and animals.
  18. Inspect treats before enjoying.
  19. Don’t eat candy if the package is already open. Small, hard pieces of candy are a choking hazard for young children.
  20. To keep neighborhood children safe, eliminate potential tripping hazards on your porch and walkway.

Another good resource, called the “Lucky 13,” was prepared by the American Red Cross. Also helpful are tips assembled by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Sharing simple safety rules with your child is just another great way Allied Universal encourages folks to BE SAFE!