This time of year, ghouls, goblins and witches appear. In the KMC, the 86th Force Support Squadron has an evening of festivities planned.
From 5 to 7 p.m. today, trick-or-treating is scheduled at the Ramstein and Vogelweh family housing complexes as well as trunk-or-treat and carnival games at Donnelly Park on Ramstein.
Though it may be an exciting time of year, there are many things to keep in mind to preserve the Halloween fun.
“The main thing is to make sure you and your children are seen at night,” said Tech. Sgt. Angelina Manby, 86th Airlift Wing ground safety technician. “It’s getting darker sooner, so at the very least, carry a flashlight and make sure costumes aren’t creating tripping hazards.”
There are easy ways to incorporate visibility into a costume; jewelry that lights up and glow sticks are fun for children and will help keep them safe after the sun sets. Costumes can become a tripping hazard, so young children should refrain from wearing high heels or long costumes they, or someone walking behind them, can trip over.
“Parents should also make sure their kids can see and breathe through masks if they decide to wear one,” Manby said. “Also, if possible, have a costume made out of fire-retardant material.”
If your child is carrying a prop or play weapon, it is safer to have soft plastic or another pliable material. Masks should not block forward or peripheral vision.
When it comes to making homes and offices festive, decorations should be put up in safe locations to avoid fires and other hazards.
“They shouldn’t be blocking fire sprinklers and are away from heat-producing materials, such as lights, candles and coffee makers,” Manby said. “It’s important to make sure they’re not blocking emergency exit signs as well.”
In addition to providing safety tips, the 86th Airlift Wing Ground Safety Office also makes sure major attractions comply with safety regulations.
“Some squadrons or booster clubs set up haunted houses, and we usually make sure they’re safe for kids to go through,” Manby said. “It’s like a pre-inspection before they open the haunted houses up to other people.”
Parents are also advised to monitor their children eating candy while out and about. Unwrapped candy is considered unsafe and should be disposed of.
The “Pumpkin Patrol,” 86th Security Forces Squadron members and volunteers, will patrol the areas and act as crossing and traffic guards to ensure maximum safety.
“We increased our patrols in the family housing areas,” said Senior Airman Sean Schmermund, 86th SFS police services assistant. “We’ll be out there beforehand making sure everything’s set up at intersections where there’s higher traffic and to make sure it’s as safe as possible. We put up signs to remind people there will be trick-or-treaters so they can avoid driving through those areas as much as possible.”
Additionally, the Ramstein Passenger Terminal will offer X-ray services from 6 to 8 p.m. This service is so children who have trick-or-treated or trunk-or-treated can have their candy inspected to ensure safe consumption.
Families traveling by car should park far enough away from the housing areas and Donnelly Park and walk to the sites, because the streets will be full of trick-or-treaters. Parking at the base exchange or commissary is suggested and encouraged.