Halloween represents a time of fun and festivity. Candy corns costumed kids and carved pumpkins set the scene. Follow these simple tips provided by the Home Safety Council to make sure your Cinderella or Frankenstein does not get spooked by holiday dangers:
- Only permit trick-or-treating at the homes of friends and neighbors you know well.
- When purchasing costumes and accessories, buy only those marked "flame retardant" or "flame resistant".
- Avoid costumes made of long, flowing material and accessories that can move or blow over open flames.
- Choose costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible. Apply reflective tape to the front and back of costumes to help motorists see your child.
- Avoid costumes that block your child's vision and increase the risk of a fall.
- Be sure that costume accessories, such as knives and swords, are made of soft, flexible material.
- To keep vision clear, consider using face paint instead of a mask.
- Give your child a flashlight to light the way and signal drivers of his or her presence. Never carry candles, torches or other open flames as part of a costume.
- Examine all treats thoroughly before allowing children to eat them.
- Throw away open treats, those not in their original wrapping and homemade goodies from unknown sources.
- Slice open fruit to check for foreign objects.
- Contact the Poison Control Center Hotline if you believe your child has consumed anything hazardous. The national hotline number is 1-800-222-1222. If medical attention is needed, call 911 immediately. Notify local police of any suspicious candy.
- Young children should never help carve a pumpkin. As an alternative, decorate pumpkins with markers, paint or stickers.
When hosting trick-or-treaters at your home, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Do not use candles when decorating porches to prevent costumes from catching fire. Light jack-o-lanterns with small flashlights instead of candles.
- Provide bright walkway and porch lighting to help prevent falls.
- Offer treats wrapped in their original packages.
- If you decorate your home with candles, keep them well away from crepe paper, leaves and other flammable objects. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room.