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Halloween is a cherished tradition. But, the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. There is no real "trick" to making Halloween safe. Simply planning ahead and taking a few safety precautions can make Halloween a real treat for the entire family.
- Purchase only costumes, wigs and props labeled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. When creating a costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes in contact with heat or flame. Avoid billowing or long trailing features.
- Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
- Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
- Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
- Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
- Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs, heaters, etc.
- Use extreme caution when decorating with candles, and supervise children at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside Jack-O-Lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches and be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from all combustible items. Pumpkins can also be illuminated with small, inexpensive flashlights.
- Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, ensuring nothing blocks escape routes.
- Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
- Instruct children to stay away from open flames or other heat sources. Be sure children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event their clothing catches fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, and roll over and over to extinguish flames.)
- Instruct children who are attending parties at others' homes to locate the exits and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
- Provide children with lightweight flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.
- Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
Remind them that 9-1-1 can be dialed free from any phone.
- Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.
- Learn or review CPR skills to aid someone who is choking or having a heart attack.