Halloween Safety

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Government officials say the scariest end to a night of trick-or-treating is a trip to the emergency room.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission Tuesday issued its annual
Halloween tips for keeping children safe:

  • Make sure costumes and bags are bright and easily visible to motorists. Add reflective tape that will glow in a car's headlights. Have children carry flashlights.

  • Get costumes, masks, beards and wigs made of flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame-Resistant." Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials, big baggy sleeves or skirts that could fall upon open flames.

  • Masks, hats and scarves should fit well and provide adequate ventilation without obstructing vision.

  • Costumes should not drag on the ground and shoes should fit well -- no oversized high heels. Accessories such as swords or knives should be made of soft, flexible material.

  • Children should not eat any treats before an adult has examined them for evidence of tampering.

  • Make sure toys received by young trick-or-treaters are not small enough -- and do not have components small enough – to present a choking hazard.

  • Keep candles and jack-o'-lanterns away from curtains, decorations and the path of trick-or-treaters.

  • Make sure lights have been tested for safety. Discard damaged sets and don't overload extension cords.

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    • Costumes should be loose fitting so that warm clothes can be worn underneath.

    • Use make-up instead of a mask. Make sure the make-up in non-toxic.

    • If you do use a mask, do not wear it between houses, so you can see properly. Make sure the mask fits correctly, the eyeholes are large and they should have nose and mouth openings.

    • Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props. Avoid pointed props like spears or wands, which can be dangerous.

    • Wear comfortable walking shoes that fit properly. Do not wear rollerblades.

    • Wear a costume that is easy to walk in, see and be seen in. Make sure your costume does not drag on the ground to avoid tripping.

    • Eat before you leave so you are not as tempted to eat your treats before they can be inspected.

    • Use the restroom before you put on your costume and/or before you leave the house.

    • Try to Trick-Or-Treat when it is still light outside. If you must go at night, make sure that your costume is light in color. Use reflective tape on your costume to be seen easier.

    • Carry a flashlight with you so you can be easily seen, and so you can see sidewalks, steps and paths. Use fresh flashlight batteries and check the flashlight before you leave. Chemical Glow in the Dark light sticks can also be used.

    • If someone older cannot go with you, Trick-Or-Treat in a group.

    • Tell your family on which streets you will be Trick-Or-Treating. Travel only in familiar areas.

    • Set a time to return home. Wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark, and set the alarm so you know when to come home.

    • Cross only at corners. Never cross between parked cars or at mid-block. Do not cut through alleys or through people’s yards or driveways.

    • Stay on the sidewalks. If there are no sidewalks, always walk facing traffic (the left side of the road). Walk in single file and obey all traffic signs and signals. Do not run.

    • Only visit houses that have lights on, and always use the front door. Never go to the back or side of a house. Never get into a stranger’s car.

    • Wait until you get home to sort, check and eat your treats. Inspect all treats for tampering before eating them.

    • Parents should teach their children how to dial 911 (or local emergency number) if there is an emergency or become lost. Let your child borrow your cell phone, if available; or make sure they have money for a pay phone.

    Source: Web reports