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Front Page » October 20, 2005 » Local News » Health district outlines Halloween safety practices for y...
Published 3,325 days ago

Health district outlines Halloween safety practices for youth, motorists


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By KAREN BASSO
Sun Advocate reporter


Debbie O'Neil arranges Halloween merchandise at the Family Dollar store. Local youth have begun shopping for their costumes, but safety experts advise parents to look over costumes before purchasing. The most important elements for a Halloween outfit is that the person wearing it can see and be seen easily.

Halloween is quickly approaching and children throughout Carbon County are beginning to pick out costumes.

It is important for parents to remember a few guidelines while assisting children with costume selection and when setting rules for Halloween night.

Because many trick-or-treaters travel at night, it is extremely important to make sure that costumes are visible in the dark.

Many Halloween costumes are darkly colored. Therefore it is important to arm youngsters with flashlights, glow sticks and items that are reflective.

This will help protect children from becoming involved in an automobile-pedestrian accident.

According to Safe Kids Southeast Utah, children are four times more likely to be hit by an authomobile on Halloween than any other night of the year.

Because the chance of being struck by a motor vehicle is so great, the safety agency offers a few tips to prevent an accident from happening.

The agency reminds Carbon County residents that all pedestrian safety rules apply on Halloween.

The pedestrian safety rules include:

•Crossing the street only at crosswalks or at corners.

•Looking both ways to check for vehicle traffic before crossing the street.

•Never darting into a roadway.

It is also advised that motorist should be extremely cautious during Halloween night.

Motorists should watch for youth on the sides of roads and at crosswalks as well as in driveways.

Safe Kids Southeast Utah advises Carbon County drivers to be especially careful in residential neighborhoods and to slow down during normal trick-or-treating hours.

Although it is important for children to be seen by drivers, it is also important that the youngsters can see approaching vehicles.

This means that any Halloween costume should not limit a child's line of vision.

It is recommended by safety experts that face paint be used in place of masks which may limit visibility.

The Safe Kids agency also advises local residents that bags and costumes should be decorated with reflective tape and if possible, be made of light colors.

In order to prevent other accidents from happening, Safe Kids provides the following safety tips:

•Children younger than the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

•Children who are old enough to celebrate Halloween with friends should travel in groups and stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.

•Costumes should be short enough to avoid tripping.

Shoes and headgear should fit children properly.

•Toy weapons and other props should be flexible so that the items do not present an injury hazard if the child falls.

•Children should not cut across yards where unknown hazards may lie.

•Residents should keep porches and doorsteps well lit on Halloween night.

•Adults should avoid baggy costumes and purchase outfits that are labeled flame resistant.

•People decorating homes for the holiday should eep jack o'lanterns that are lit with candles away from doorsteps and walkways and consider using glow sticks instead of candles.

*Adults should inspect candy and treats to make sure they are sealed and have no signs of tampering.

*Children under the age of six should not be given hard candy or other small, round objects.

*Be cautious of animals and strangers. It is best to visit familiure homes.

By following a few simple safety tips, this Halloween can be a fun, yet safe one for all Carbon County residents this year.



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