Halloween Safety Tips
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers safety tips for parents and guardians of children who plan to go trick-or-treating this Halloween.
- Cut a mask's eyeholes and nose hole large enough to allow full visibility and so breathing is not hampered.
- Be certain that masks, wigs, beards and hats fit securely and are not cumbersome.
- An alternative to face masks may be the application of non-toxic face paint or make-up to the child's face.
- Look for "flame resistant" labels on costumes, masks, beards and wigs. When shopping, look for fabrics such as 100 percent polyester, nylon, or wool. Sales people can assist in identifying these fabrics
- Avoid costumes made out of flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. These are more likely to come in contact with an exposed flame or candle than tighter fitting costumes.
- Do not allow children to carry knives, swords or other props unless they are soft and flexible.
- Buy or make Halloween costumes that are light or bright enough to make them more visible to motorists at dusk and in the dark.
- Costumes should be short enough to prevent children form tripping and falling. Children should always wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
- Give trick-or-treaters flashlights, so they can see better and be seen more clearly.
- Decorate or trim all costumes with reflective tape that glows in the beam of a car's headlights. Place reflective strips on the sleeves or treat bag.
- Warn children not to run out from between parked cars or across lawns and yards where tripping dangers may be present.
- Parents should caution all children to use the sidewalk or walk toward oncoming traffic and not to run from house to house.
- Children should be accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult who will keep the children in sight at all times.
- Allow trick-or-treating only in familiar neighborhoods and along a pre-established route. Designate a specific time for children to return home.
- Have children restrict their trick-or-treat calls to homes with porch or other outside lights on as a sign of welcome. Children should always use the "buddy system" and never go places alone.
- Warn children not to enter homes or apartments.
- Each child should have change for a phone call in case of a problem away from home.
- Make your homes safer for visiting trick-or-treaters by removing breakable items or obstacles from your yard.
- Keep candlelit jack-o-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes might brush against the flame.
- Parents should examine any toys or novelty items their children receive as treats in lieu of candy. Do not allow young children to have any toy or novelty items that small enough to present a choking hazard to children younger than three.
The Commission encourages parents to follow these safety tips, particularly if their children are just beginning to learn about the "Halloween tradition."