TDH offers tips for safe All Hallow’s Eve

SOCK HOP ACTION’Yvette Ramirez, a second grade student at Brady Elementary, took advantage of the Red Ribbon Week sock hop to cut loose on the dance floor. Children are thinking about costumes and candy. But many adults are thinking about Halloween safety along with the trick-or-treat visits on this special autumn evening. “People need to be aware of any potential for injuries along with having fun,” said Susan Warren, director of the Safe Riders Program at the Texas Department of Health (TDH). “Many injuries can be avoided if adults follow safety suggestions and if parents talk with their children about staying safe as they enjoy Halloween.” A study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween. This evening also poses special risks to young pedestrians, according to the CDC. About four times as many children aged 5 to 14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with any other night of the year. TDH safety tips for children: ‘ Look left, right and left again for cars and trucks before crossing the street. Walk on sidewalks. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the road facing traffic. ‘ Don’t cut across lawns or go through backyards, parks and alleys. ‘ Don’t hide behind cars. Don’t cross the street from between parked cars; go to a corner. ‘ Never accept rides from strangers. Don’t take treats from a person in an auto. ‘ Use a flashlight when walking. Be sure it has fresh batteries. ‘ Wear light-colored costumes and put reflective strips on them. Be sure costumes are short enough so you will not trip. ‘ Wear comfortable shoes that fit. High heels or big floppy shoes are not safe for walking. Save them for indoor parties. ‘ Use face paint rather than a mask or hood that covers your eyes. ‘ Stay away from lighted candles, matches and open fires. ‘ Trick-or-treat only at houses with porch lights on. ‘ Be careful around animals. Even pets you know may be scared by costumes and loud or strange noises. ‘ Don’t eat any treats until they are checked by an adult. Don’t eat anything in an open package. TDH safety suggestions for adults: ‘ Look for a “flame resistant” label on costumes, masks, beards and wigs. Use fire-resistant materials when making costumes. ‘ Be sure children carry only soft, flexible knives, swords or other props. ‘ Accompany trick-or-treaters under 12. ‘ Set a time for children to be home. Know the route they will take. ‘ Never let a child go trick-or-treating alone. Be sure at least two buddies go together. Have children eat dinner before they go out. They will be less likely to snack on treats. ‘ Remove breakable items or obstacles such as ladders, tools and toys from your yard. ‘ Keep jack-o-lanterns and lighted candles away from areas where costumes or paper decorations might touch the flame. TDH safety information for motorists: ‘ Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Watch carefully for excited children who may not be paying attention to traffic. Watch for children in the street or on medians and curbs. ‘ Enter and exit driveways slowly and carefully. ‘ If you are driving children around, be sure they get in and out of the car on the curb side, away from traffic. ‘ Do not wear a Halloween mask while driving. “For added safety, parents may want to have children only visit houses where they know the residents, and then only if the lights are on,” Warren said. “Parents need to remind children to bring home all treats to be checked before eating,” she said. “Look at the wrapping carefully, and throw away anything that looks suspicious. Inspect the surface of fruit thoroughly for any punctures or holes. Wash fruit carefully and cut open before eating. On Halloween, the only fright should come from a visit by a make-believe ghost or goblin.”

Leave a Comment