Safety tips for ghosts, goblins

Senior Master Sgt. Steven M. Benoit
435th Ground Safety Division

Halloween, an exciting time that children look forward to each year for fun and tricks.

Sometimes the fun disappears and the tricks reappear in the form of injuries to our little ghosts and goblins.

The safety of our children must be our number one priority during
Halloween. No matter what you’ve heard, read, or been told, Halloween
is for the kids.

Their fun should not be taken away because of a few bad apples. By
thinking ahead, children can safely enjoy this special time by taking
safety precautions offered by American Academy of Pediatrics.

Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face
with markers, then parents can do the cutting. Lighted pumpkins should
be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable
objects, and should never be left unattended.

***image1***To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should
remove anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys,
bikes and lawn decorations. Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently
bite a trick-or-treater because they are frightened.

A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on
their neighborhood rounds. For older children going alone, review the
route in advance. Agree on a specific time when they should return

Remind trick-or-treaters to stay in a group. They should only go to
homes with a porch light and remain on well-lit streets and always use
the sidewalk.
If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
Never cut across yards, use alleys or enter a stranger’s home or car
for a treat. When possible, only cross the street as a group in
established crosswalks. Motorists may have trouble seeing
trick-or-treaters. And remember, just because one car stops, doesn’t
mean others will.

When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, look for and purchase
those with a label indicating they are flame resistant. Plan costumes
that are bright and reflective.

Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to
prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame. Consider adding
reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for
greater visibility.

A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

More safety tips:
-Children not accompanied while trick-or-treating should wear a watch and know their curfew.
-Make sure children have money to call from a pay phone or have a cell phone.
-Have a flashlight handy. It should be turned on while walking on or
near roads. Make certain the batteries will last for several hours.
-Drivers be aware, expect the unexpected. Slow down in residential
areas and remember that trick-or-treaters have the right of way. For
the sake of our kids, don’t drink and drive, not even one drink.