Halloween may be a night of ghosts, goblins and scary scenes, but let’s all keep the fear factor in the imagination.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 4,400 people suffered Halloween activity-related injuries during October and November 2014. What were the top causes? Pumpkin-carving catastrophes and decorating disasters were the most frequently reported incident scenarios.
Fortunately, there is no reason to fear what is preventable. CPSC offers these safety precautions to prevent Halloween-related incidents.
- When you buy or make costumes, masks, beards, and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label “Flame Resistant.”
- Purchase or make costumes that are light-colored, bright and clearly visible to motorists.
- For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape on the front, back and sides that will glow in the beam of a car’s headlights.
- Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
- Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls.
- Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.
- Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children’s eyes and obstructing their vision.
- If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.
- Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.
- Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.
- Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters who are younger than three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use and present a choking hazard.
- Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
- Remove obstacles from lawns, steps, and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
- Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from curtains, decorations, and other items that could ignite. Do not leave burning candles unattended.
- Indoors or outside, use only decorative light strands that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.
- Don’t overload extension cords.
Follow these tips and have a happy and safe Halloween!