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Front Page » October 12, 2004 » Local News » Exercise caution to reduce dangers associated with Hallow...
Published 3,719 days ago

Exercise caution to reduce dangers associated with Halloween activities


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By MELANIE STEELE
Sun Advocate reporter


A local store offers pumpkins and other Halloween goodies to Carbon County residents. As the fall holiday approaches, parents should prepare their children to have a safe and fun Halloween experience.

As local stores continue to fill with Halloween goodies and costumes, Carbon County residents are reminded that making safety a priority will ensure that All Hallows Eve will be a pleasant experience for adults as well as young trick-or-treaters.

Costumes should be light weight with bright enough colors to be clearly seen by motorists, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The commission recommends Carbon County residents consider the following when selecting Halloween costumes:

•For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights.

Bags or sacks should also be light- colored or decorated with reflective tape.

Reflective tape is usually available in local hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.

•To easily see and be seen, children should also carry flashlights.

•Costumes should be short enough to prevent children from tripping and falling.

•Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Mother' s high heels are not a good idea for safe walking.

•Hats and scarfs should be tied securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes.

•Cosmetics should be applied rather than have a child wear a loose-fitting mask that might restrict breathing or obscure vision.

If a mask is used, parents should make sure it fits securely and has eyeholes large enough to allow full vision.

•Adults should remind children to follow the rules of safety when crossing streets.

Children should be instructed to remove masks whenever crossing a street.

Using Halloween makeup instead of masks can increase a child's visability while still allowing for a creative look to accompany their costume.

Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be of soft and flexible material.

Assure that trick or treaters are properly dressed for the cold October weather. Check weather reports and layer enough clothing underneath costumes to keep out the cold.

Jack-o'-lanterns and other flamed decor can pose a fire hazard for children. Parents should inspect all costumes, masks, beards and wigs, for a flame resistant label to ensure the attire is not at high risk to injure a child.

"Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source," stated the commission.

To reduce the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts, indicated the safety commission.

Children should go only to homes where the residents are known and have outside lights on as a sign of welcome, the commission reminded. Children should not enter homes or apartments unless they are accompanied by an adult. Trick or treaters should use sidewalks and walkways and avoid trampling through yards and gardens.

Parents should also decorate their own homes to assure that safety and fire hazards are kept to a minimum. People expecting trick-or-treaters should remove anything that could be an obstacle from lawns, steps and porches. Jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame. Indoor jack-o'-lanterns should be kept away from curtains, decorations, and other furnishings that could be ignited, pointed out the commission.

Children should also be reminded not to eat treats before an adult has carefully examined them, the safety commission reminded. Parents should discard any loose candy or wrapped items that appear to be torn or tampered with. Handmade treats should always been thrown out unless they have been given to the child by a trusted adult.

Halloween fun does not only extend to children of a trick or treating age. Teenagers and adults will also be looking to enjoy the holiday with their friends in the form of parties and other Halloween activities.

Parents should remind their teenagers of the difference between Halloween fun and Halloween mischief.

"We treat Halloween the same as any other night of the week," commented Patrolman Dave Cartwright of the Price City police department.

Cartwright said that kids need to be responsible and know that mischievous behavior will not be allowed just because it is Halloween.

The same responsibility extends to adults. Adults should be aware of the large number of children on the streets and drive cautiously. Parties involving alcohol should always provide a designated driver.

Because Halloween falls on a Sunday, Carbon County residents should be prepared for trick-or-treaters on Saturday as well as the traditionally celebrated Oct. 31. Shutting off all front exterior lights will serve as an indication for trick-or-treaters to move on to a well-lit home.


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