Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Avoid the Halloween Nightmare



Tips for avoiding Trick or Treat Chaos:

Halloween is fast approaching, and all the ghouls and goblins are getting anxious. Although I know October 31 is a magical night for children and some adults, it can also be very dangerous. Here are some simple tips to keep the evening from becoming a true nightmare.

Children should:


  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches rather than entering houses. Travel in small groups and be accompanied by an adult.
  • Know their phone number and carry coins for emergency telephone calls.
  • Have their names and addresses attached to their costumes.
  • Bring treats home before eating them so parents can inspect them.
  • Use costume knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
  • When walking in neighborhoods,they should Use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross streets at the corner,use crosswalks (where they exist), and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing that is bright,reflective, and flame retardant.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks. (Masks can obstruct a child's vision.) Avoid wearing hats that will slide over their eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy, or loose costumes or over sized shoes (to prevent tripping).
  • Be reminded to look left,right, and left again before crossing the street.

Parents and adults should:

  • Supervise the outing for children under age 12.
  • Establish a curfew (a return time) for older children.
  • Prepare homes for trick-or-treaters by clearing porches, lawns, and sidewalks and by placing jack-o-lanterns away from doorways and landings.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it.
  • Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick-or-treaters
  • Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.

And a few tips about pumpkins:

  • Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
  • Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin, then parents should do the cutting.
  • Place lighted pumpkins away from curtains and other flammable objects, and do not leave lighted pumpkins unattended.

The true scary facts:
Most people think of Halloween as a time for fun and treats. However, roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year, and falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween. Many Halloween-related injuries can be prevented if parents closely supervise school-aged children during trick-or-treat activities..
Kids are four times more likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other night of the year, according to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign in Washington DC. In addition, bulky costumes or vision-restricting masks can increase the chance of falls. But if you incorporate these tips into your planning and celebration, you'll go a long way toward protecting your child and helping her have a frightfully fun time.








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