From ghoulies and ghosties,
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us. – Anonymous
The ghouls and goblins will be out in just three short weeks – make sure your trick-or-treaters enjoy a safe and fun Halloween by reviewing these simple safety points.
Parents should establish and review Halloween safety rules with children for safe routes and houses, behavior, and other guidelines for a safe Halloween.
1. Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
2. Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. The established route should only be in familiar areas.
3. Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
4. Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address, and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
5. Establish a return time and make sure children understand the importance of returning on time.
6. Everyone should carry a flashlight to see and be seen. Use fresh batteries.
7. Older children and escorts should wear a wristwatch and carry a mobile phone or coins for phone calls.
8. Tell your children not to eat any treat until they return home. All treats should be examined by an adult prior to eating.
9. Examine packaging of candy and other food items for evidence of tampering, such as pinholes in wrappers and torn wrappers. When in doubt about a treat, throw it out.
10. Wash fruit thoroughly, inspect it for holes and small punctures, and slice them into small pieces.
11. A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage children from filling up on Halloween treats.
Safe Halloween costumes and accessories are flame retardant, visible in the dark, and don’t impede movement, breathing, or vision. Review these Halloween safety guidelines when purchasing or making costumes.
12. Look for the “Flame Resistant” label when purchasing costumes, masks, beards, and wigs. The label indicates the item will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. However, this label does not mean the labeled items won’t catch fire.
13. Avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with baggy sleeves or billowing skirts, to minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition.
14. Purchase or make costumes that are light and bright enough to be clearly visible to motorists.
15. 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.
16. Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
17. Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Avoid high heels.
18. Apply a mask of non-toxic and hypoallergenic cosmetics rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision.
19. If a mask is used, make sure it fits securely, has eye holes large enough to allow full vision, and breathing holes large enough for full breathing.
20. Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material, with blunt edges and points. No sharp objects should be carried.
Make sure children understand the rules of a safe Halloween by discussing safe houses to visit, safe behavior, and what to do in an emergency.
21. Stay together as a group, and never be alone at any time.
22. Go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome.
23. Do not enter homes, apartments, or cars without adult supervision.
24. Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not run from between parked cars, or across lawns and yards where ornaments, furniture, or clotheslines present dangers.
25. Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic. Use the sidewalk, not the street.
26. Do not eat any treats before an adult has carefully examined them for evidence of tampering.
27. Know your home phone number and how to call 911 (or local emergency number) if you have an emergency or become lost. 911 can be dialed free from any phone.
28. Use “Stop-Drop-Roll” should your clothes catch on fire.