10/22/2012 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --
We all want to keep our children safe during the candy collecting tradition of trick-or-treating. This is a time when it's acceptable for children to dress up in their cutest or scariest costume and pretend to be someone different for the night. It's also a time when children get a little more excited and their lessons of safety get pushed aside.
The 55th Wing Safety office wants to ensure a fun and safe experience for the youngsters who will be out collecting candy and parading around in their costumes. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council to keep yours and others children safe this Halloween.
Safety Tips for Motorists
- All motorists need to be especially alert and cautious when driving on Halloween because of the high number of pedestrians walking the streets.
- Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
- Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
- Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
- Watch for children in dark clothing.
- Never use your cell phone while driving.
- Discourage teens from driving on Halloween. There are too many hazards and distractions for inexperienced drivers.
- Instruct your children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and avoid trick-or-treating alone.
- Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home so that a thorough inspection can be done. When in doubt, throw it out.
- Agree on a specific time for your children to come home if they are old enough to go out with friends.
- Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
- Make sure your child or a responsible adult with them carries a cell phone for quick communication.
- Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger's home.
- Review all appropriate pedestrian and traffic safety rules with your children.
- Remind children to look both ways before crossing the street and use established crosswalks whenever possible.
- Walk, do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards and never walk near lit candles or luminaries.
- Walk on sidewalks, not in the street. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road facing traffic.
- All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
- Fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags to make sure they are visible during hours of darkness.
- When buying Halloween makeup, make sure it is nontoxic and always test it in a small area first. Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.
- Masks can limit or block eyesight, so consider non-toxic makeup or decorative hats as safer alternatives.
- If masks are worn, they should have large eye holes and nose and mouth openings. Encourage your children to remove their masks before crossing the street.
- Children should only wear well-fitting costumes and shoes to avoid trips and falls.
- Do not allow your children to wear decorative contact lenses, as they present a risk for serious eye injury.
- Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
- Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard. (Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries on Halloween.)
This year's trick-or-treating hours in Rising View, Coffman Heights and Generals' Row housing areas are from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 31. 55th Security Forces Squadron's "Ghost Patrol" will be present throughout the areas in order to ensure the safety of your little ones. They will be identifiable by wearing ABUs or flight suits and reflective gear.