Have a safe Halloween

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, October 27, 2004

By Staff
Our View
Halloween in Atmore can be a fun time for all ages. Whether you're dressing the little ones up in costumes to go trick-or-treating, or you're dressing yourself up for a Halloween party, it makes sense to be sensible.
Remember, official trick-or-treat hours in Atmore are Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be dark then, so here are some safety tips we should all keep in mind for Saturday night.
According to the National SAFEKIDS Campaign, children are four times more likely to die as pedestrians on Halloween night than any other night of the year. There is also an increase in burns and falls during Halloween activities.
To avoid cumbersome costumes, dangerous treats and risky activity on Halloween night the Alabama Department of Public Health recommends parents and children follow these safety tips:
* Apply face paint or cosmetics directly to the face, because it is safer than a loose-fitting mask that can obstruct a child's vision. If a mask is worn, be certain it fits securely. Cut the eye holes large enough for full vision.
* Give trick-or-treaters flashlights.
* Make costumes short enough to avoid tripping.
* Secure hats so they will not slip over children's eyes.
* Dress children in shoes that fit. Adult shoes are not safe for trick-or-treaters. The larger size makes it easier for them to trip and fall.
* Allow children to carry only flexible knives, swords or other props. Anything they carry could injure them if they fall.
* Decorate costumes, bags and sacks with reflective tape and stickers or use costumes that are light or bright enough to make children more visible at night.
* Parents should warn children to bring their treats home before eating them so that they can ensure that items have not been tampered with and are safely sealed.
* Inspect fruit surfaces closely for punctures or holes, wash fruit thoroughly and cut each piece open before allowing a child to eat it.
* Throw away any suspicious fruits, candy, toys, novelty items or items small enough to present a choking hazard.
* Teach children to walk, not run, while trick-or-treating. Darting out into the street is one of the most common causes of pedestrian death among children.
* Remind children to stop at all street corners before crossing. Tell them to cross streets only at intersections and crosswalks.
* Teach them to look left, right and left again before crossing the street
and to continue looking both ways as they cross.
* Warn children to only go to houses or apartments where they know the
residents. Accompany children under the age 12 on their trick-or-treat
* If possible, parents should provide unattended children over the age of
12 with cell phones for emergencies.
* Instruct children to travel only in familiar areas and along a
preestablished route.
* Instruct children never to enter a home or an apartment building unless
accompanied by an adult.
* Set a time for children to return home.
* Restrict trick-or-treating visits to homes with porch or outside lights
* Teach children not to cut across yards. Lawn ornaments and clotheslines
are "hidden hazards" in the dark. Tell your children to stay on the
sidewalk at all times.

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