Monday, October 26, 2009

How to have a "Howling" Good Time on Halloween

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many people, especially kids. In their excitement they sometimes forget the safety rules.

The number one danger for children on Halloween isn’t stranger danger-----it’s fabrics that catch fire easily. In fact, some fabrics are so flammable that they can catch fire in just seconds.

Spray on glitter is highly combustible. A safer alternative for decorating costumes is to use non-flammable, non-toxic acrylic fluorescent paints, tape, synthetic blood or sewn on items such as patches, sequins, buttons or ric-rac.

Cotton fabric can be extremely flammable. Use synthetic fabrics such as polyester that are flame resistant. Remember, flame retardant doesn't mean merely means that it retards ignition. Use non-toxic face paint or cosmetics instead of masks which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Keep carved pumpkins or luminaries lit with candles out where children travel to avoid fire hazard. Use battery operated votive candles as a safe alternative.

Parents should go trick or treating with younger children. Older siblings should not be responsible for younger children as they often are caught up in the excitement of trick or treating themselves.

For all children, remember to review the basics of treat or treating.
  • Do not stop to talk to strangers in cars or on foot.
  • All candy must be brought home and examined prior to eating.
  • Walk, don’t run across the street and don’t forget to look both ways.
  • Stay in well lit areas and in your own neighborhood.
  • Travel in groups.
  • Obey your community’s set hours for trick or treating.
  • If your child has a cell phone, make sure it is charged up and on. Have them call you to check in.
  • Be respectful of people’s property. Do not throw trash, eggs, or “tee-pee” their homes or yards.
  • Set a curfew.
  • Remind children to never go inside a home to get candy.
  • Have your child use some kind of reflective clothing, glow stick or flashlight so cars can see them.
  • Remind children to respect animals. Charging at an animal to scare them may make the animal bite or scratch to defend itself.

If your child is attending a Halloween party, make sure you know where it is and whether parents will be home. Make sure you know the address and phone number of the home.

If children are going to a Halloween event at a park district or shopping center make sure they are going with others. Remind them that there is safety in numbers.

For more information on Halloween safety please visit the following websites:

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