Have a safe Halloween

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

Halloween isn’t far away, and that means trick-or-treating.

Children of all ages love this night when they can go door-to-door, dressed as their favorite cartoon character or super hero and return with bags full of candy. Oh, how much fun it is.

But trick-or-treating can also be a dangerous time for children.

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As the youngsters get all caught up in the moment they will surely forget all the safety tips you told them before they left the house earlier in the evening. And with the added peer pressure to act out of normal character they could be headed down a slippery slope.

But there are a few things you as a parent or guardian can do to protect your charges.

Here are just a few tips from the National Council on Safety. There is more to know, and you can learn it at

the NCS Web site:: http://www.nsc.org/library/facts/halloween.htm


– Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

– Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

– Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

– At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

Before children start out on their &uot;trick or treat&uot; rounds, parents should:

– Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.

– Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.

– Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

– Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.

– Establish a return time.

– Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.

– Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including pedestrian/traffic safety rules.

– Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.

– Costume Design Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.

– Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.

– Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. (Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.)

– If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of retroreflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Face Design Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.

– When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled &uot;Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,&uot; &uot;Laboratory Tested,&uot; Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,&uot; or &uot;Non-Toxic.&uot; Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.

– If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Again, these are just a few of the important things to remember in order to keep our children safe this year. Please do your homework and find out what else you can do and then share that with your little ones.

We in the media would just as soon not write about any trick-or-treating tragedies this year, or any year for that matter.