Common sense will help keep kids safe on Halloween


October 18, 2011

Halloween is approaching quickly, and families will soon be decorating their homes, carving pumpkins, shopping for costumes and planning trick-or-treat outings.

While it is fun to be scared of ghosts and ghouls on Halloween, everyone wants to enjoy a safe and happy holiday. Accidents can easily be avoided by using common sense and following these safety tips from the American Red Cross.

Accept treats only at the door. Never enter a stranger's house or car for treats.

Inspect candy closely before eating it. Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Trick-or-treat only at houses with the lights on. Avoid homes that do not have lights on as this is an indication they are not participating. Additionally, it is always safer to remain in well-lit areas.

Be careful of strangers and animals. Be especially careful to avoid stray dogs. Also be sure pets in the home are secured so that they do not accidentally jump on or bite visiting trick-or-treaters.

Keep lawn and porch clear of possible items children could trip over. Be sure your own porch and lawn are clear of things like garden hoses, bicycles and decorations that could be tripping hazards for visiting trick-or-treaters.

Use street smarts. Walk on the sidewalk, not the street. Look both ways before crossing, and only cross at the corners. Never enter a stranger's vehicle or hide between cars. Do not walk on the lawns.@

Make yourself as visible as possible. Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Try attaching reflective tape to clothing, capes and other props, such as broomsticks. Also put reflective tapes on bicycles, scooters and skateboards.

Use face paint or decorative hats instead of masks. Masks make it harder to see, making falls and accidents more likely. Be sure if a hat is used that it fits tightly and will not fall down over the eyes.@

Be careful near open flames. Costumes can be very flammable, and long capes or dresses can be particularly susceptible to catching fire.

Bring a flashlight. Using a flashlight will help you to clearly see your way and will also help cars better see you.

Plan your trick-or-treating route. Parents and children should map out a route together to avoid any dangerous situations. Young children should always be accompanied by an adult. Before


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