Tips for a safe Halloween

10/30/2010 12:00 AM

10/30/2010 1:52 AM

Halloween is Sunday. Here are some things to consider before turning on your porch light or heading out to trick or treat:

For children

* Always go trick-or-treating with a parent or trusted adult.

* Be seen. Carry a flashlight or glow stick, carry a reflective bag, and put reflective tape on both sides of your costume.

* Walk, don't run. Walk only on sidewalks, if available, and cross streets only at intersections and crosswalks.

* Don't cut through yards, parks or alleys, or between cars parked on the street.

* Never accept rides from strangers or take treats from someone in a car.

* Trick or treat only at houses with lighted porches.

* Don't approach unknown animals or pets, which may be scared by costumes or strange noises.

* Don't eat any treats until they've been checked by an adult, and never eat anything in an open package.

For parents

* Accompany kids on their trick-or-treat rounds.

* Carry these things: a fully charged cell phone, a flashlight, hand wipes, adhesive bandages (for minor cuts), healthy snacks and bottled water.

* If you're driving, slow down. Pay special attention backing out of driveways or parking spaces.

* If your child is old enough to go out with friends, discuss the route beforehand, agree on a buddy system and establish a curfew. Also make sure your child carries identification in a pocket or pinned to a costume.

* Keep costumes short enough to avoid tripping. Avoid big, baggy sleeves, trailing cloaks and billowing skirts.

* Use face paint rather than a mask or hood that could limit visibility.

* If your child plans to carry a prop, such as a toy knife, sword, scythe or pitchfork, make sure the tips are smooth and flexible enough not to cause injury.

* Keep lighted pumpkins away from landings or doorsteps, where trick-or-treaters' costumes might brush against the flame. Or consider battery-operated electric candles rather than real flames to decorate porches and pumpkins.

* Clear porches and yards of hoses, lawn decorations or anything that could trip a child. Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and steps.

* Keep pets in a secure room inside the house. Even friendly animals can be spooked by people in costume, or can dart out the door and get lost.

* Examine all candy before giving it to your child. Throw out anything homemade or unwrapped, unless you know where it came from. Keep hard candies and other choking hazards away from young children.

* Be aware of candy recalls. Manufacturer Colombina recently recalled certain lots of their Mega Pops lollipops because they may contain traces of foreign particles. Parents of children with nut allergies should note that Nestle recalled some of its Raisinets candies because they contained undeclared peanuts.

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