Just because ghouls and ghosts are out and about on Halloween doesn't mean that it has to be dangerous for children and grandparents. Here are a few safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect children who plan to dress up and go trick-or-treating or attend a holiday party this Halloween.
- 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. Grandmother'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.
- When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the labelFlame 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.
Trick or treating
- An adult or an older, responsible child should always accompany young children.
- 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.
- 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 an adult accompanies them.
- 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.
Treats not tricks
- Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!