A few safety tips from the Atherton Police Department can protect children who plan to go trick-or-treating or partying this Halloween.
Ghost, ghouls and monsters aren't the only things to be afraid of on Halloween. Accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children Trick-or-Treat. To avoid the many dangers children face while trick or treating, use common sense. Be aware of potential Halloween hazards and take precautions to eliminate them.
Halloween Costume Safety Tips:
• Wear flame retardant costumes.
• Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so the color doesn't run onto your other clothes if it rains.
• Try on costumes before Halloween to allow time for altering.
• Hem your costumes so you don't trip and fall.
• Apply reflective tape to your Halloween costumes.
• Avoid cumbersome masks. Use make-up instead.
• Make-up should be hypoallergenic and non-toxic.
• Wear comfortable, practical shoes.
• Double tie your shoelaces so you don't trip.
• Keep your costume and wig away from candles.
• Don't carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Make sure they're flexible and cannot harm anyone.
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 or glow sticks.
• Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.
• Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother’s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.
• Hats and scarves 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.
Halloween Trick or Treat Tips:
• Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark.
• Always trick or treat in groups, accompanied by an adult.
• Plan your route ahead of time.
• Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.
• Walk. No running.
• Don't trample through flower beds and gardens.
• Watch out for open flames in jack-o-Lanterns.
• Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
• Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings.
• Only visit well lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses.
• Don't enter any houses unless you know the people.
• Carry a spare Halloween bag -- in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.
• Don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals.
• Don't cut across yards and stay out of back yards.
• Follow traffic signals and don't jaywalk.
• Always watch for cars backing up or turning.
• Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire.
• Never accept rides from strangers.
• Respect other people and their property.
• Be polite and say "thank you."
• Don't eat any candy until it's inspected for tampering under bright lights.
• Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.
• Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.
• Report any suspicious or criminal activity to an adult or the police.
• Consider having a Halloween Party instead of Trick or Treating.
Pedestrian Safety: Young children should always be accompanied by an adult or an older, responsible child. 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.
• 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.
• Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
• Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.