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Halloween safety tips for families

Halloween safety tips for families

(Fremont County, Wyo.) – It’s almost time for all the little witches, zombies, vampires and princesses to emerge on Halloween, enjoy parties, go trick-or-treating and eat yummy treats. Injury Prevention Resources, Mountain View Regional Hospital Clinic and Safe Kids of Wyoming have joined forces to share the following Halloween and Trick-or-Treating safety tips.

"We continually encourage community members to be safety conscious, but ask that they pay even more attention on Halloween," says Injury Prevention Resources Safety Education Coordinator, Tom Cunningham. "The biggest dangers faced on Halloween are injuries from tripping and falling and pedestrian/car accidents. Unfortunately, many children forget safety tips out of shear excitement while traversing from house-to-house trick-or-treating. It is important for parents to set the example by staying on main pathways and crossing at corners."

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 in case an emergency telephone call is necessary.
-- 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 children 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 oversized shoes (to prevent tripping).
-- 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 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 curbside, not on the traffic side.

A few tips about pumpkins and decorations:
-- Carve pumpkins on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.
-- Have children draw a face on the outside of the pumpkin and have parents do the cutting.
-- Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards. Do not leave lit pumpkins unattended.
-- It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern.

Parents, you're encouraged to share these tips with your kids to ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween for the entire family.