Halloween is a great time to dress up and go trick-or-treating, but it’s important to keep several tips in mind to keep you and your children safe. Here are a number of helpful tips to ensure a safe and fun Halloween from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Flame Resistant Costumes: When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won’t catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
Costume Designs: Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights. Bags or sacks should also be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle, and sporting goods stores.
- To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother’ s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
- Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes.
- Apply a natural mask of cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision. If a mask is used, however, make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.
- Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.
Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. All children should WALK, not run from house to house and use the sidewalk if available, rather than walk in the street. Children should be cautioned against running out from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
Choosing Safe Houses: Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
- Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult.
- People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Candlelit jack-o’-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o’-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited.
The Federal Drug Administration also offers various tips to prevent food-borne illnesses from treats.
- Children shouldn’t snack while trick-or-treating. To help them resist temptation, a small snack or meal should be served beforehand.
- Don’t accept or eat any treat that is not commercially wrapped.
- Parents of young children should remove choking hazards like gum or small toys.
- Pares should carefully inspect all treats for signs of tampering, including unusual appearance, discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers.