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Ghouls, goblins aren't the only dangers at Halloween

  • Published
  • By Mike Jett
  • 82nd Training Wing Safety
Autumn holidays like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times for children and adults of all ages, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, enjoy fall fruits and vegetables and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, participate in physical activity and focus on safety.

Safety Tips for Motorists
All motorists need to be especially alert and cautious when driving on Halloween because of the high number of pedestrians walking the streets.

· Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
· Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
· Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
· At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
· Never use your cell phone while driving.
· Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.

Most importantly, all children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult, but before trick-or-treating, parents should:

· Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone.
· Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.
· Teach your children to never enter a stranger's home.
· Agree on a specific time for your children to come home.
· Give your children flashlights with fresh batteries to help them see and for others to see them.
· Make sure your child or a responsible adult with them carries a cell phone for quick communication.
· Review all appropriate pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children.
o Look both ways before crossing the street and use established crosswalks whenever possible.
o Walk, do not run, from house to house.
o Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards and never walk near lit candles or luminaries.
o Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.

Children will be anxious to stuff themselves with treats, but parents need to take these necessary precautions first:
· Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten, then examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before your children eat them.
· Give children an early meal before going out to prevent them from filling up on Halloween treats or eating anything before you can inspect it.
· Only let your children eat factory-wrapped treats. Avoid homemade treats unless you know the cook well.
· When in doubt, throw it out.

When making or purchasing Halloween costumes, follow these safety precautions to ensure your children remain safe while looking great:
· All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire- resistant.
· If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible.
· When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first. Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
· Masks can limit or block eyesight, so consider non-toxic makeup or decorative hats as safer alternatives.
· If masks are worn, they should have large eye holes and nose and mouth openings. Encourage your children to remove their masks before crossing the street.
· Children should only wear well-fitting costumes and shoes to avoid trips and falls.
· Do not allow your children to wear decorative contact lenses, as they present a risk for serious eye injury.
· Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

Information courtesy of the National Safety Council:

Information courtesy of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: