Halloween is a great treat for youngsters and the young at heart.
Costume parties, pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating are time-honored traditions for this festive autumn event.
With Halloween ranking within America's top holiday observations, annual participation has significantly grown with children and adults.
Still, personal injuries, accidents, and even death have experienced an upswing during this holiday. It's truly an opportunity to fully utilize common sense and precaution.
As children get ready to hit the streets for trick-or-treating, the Michigan State Police officials at the Iron Mountain Post, remind the public to take extra precautions this Halloween.
"Part of enjoying Halloween festivities is recognizing possible dangers and taking precautions," said Community Service Trooper Geno M. Basanese of the Iron Mountain State Police. "There are potential risks involved with trick-or-treating, but with the proper safety measures everyone can have an enjoyable and safe Halloween."
Troopers offer the following trick-or-treat safety tips:
- Children of any age should be accompanied by an adult.
- Accept treats at the door and never go into a stranger's house.
- Stay in familiar neighborhoods. Plan your route and share it with your family.
- Stay in a group.
- Only visit homes that have the porch light on.
- Stay in populated and well-lit areas. Do not cut through back alleys or fields.
- Cross the street only at corners or crosswalks.
- Do not cross the street between parked cars.
- Carry a flashlight.
- Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible.
- Make sure all costumes are flame retardant. Avoid walking too close to open fires, candles, and jack-o-lanterns.
- Make sure an adult inspects all candy before eating it. Do not eat candy that is already opened.
- Be sure to follow community curfew rules.
Safety experts also offer the following basic Halloween guidelines:
- With young children, suggest painting or decorating the pumpkin rather than carving.
- With a carved pumpkin, take time when cutting. Place lit pumpkins on a flat; sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Ensure children don't play near lit jack-o-lanterns. You can also opt to light carved pumpkins with flashlights or battery operated candles.
- Bright colors are best advised and always buy flame retardant costumes.
- If the weather is chilly, size the costume right so warm clothes can be worn.
- If you have the option, bypass the mask (they slip and obstruct vision), use kid-friendly make-up. Be certain to test for any allergy or related reactions. Also, wash off the make-up before going to bed.
- Limit accessories which might be dangerous such as wands, swords or knives, and related items.
Trick or Treat with Care
- For welcoming households or business firms, be certain to have appropriate lighting toward and at your entrance.
- If you have a pet, best to keep them away from the doorway. Some people don't like pets and some pets don't like people.
- Carry a flashlight (bring extra batteries or another unit), watch, cellular telephone, and extra trick-or-treat bags in case those in use tear.
- Walk, don't run. Stay on sidewalks and driveways rather than streets or parking lots. Cross only at designated cross walk areas.
- Prior to trick-or-treating, establish ground rules, travel area, and time frames.
- Versus sugary treats consider giving out stickers, unsharpened pencils, pens, rubber insects/toys, colored chalk, or similar safe items.
Examine the Treats
- Don't snack on your bag of goodies while trick-or-treating. Have dinner or a snack before heading out to trick-or-treat.
- Help your child inspect treats before consuming. Anything of an unusual nature, torn packaging, or suspicious - best to discard.
- Homemade treats should be avoided.
- If the trick-or-treater has a food allergy, be certain to inspect the packaging and labeling.
- Choking hazards are peanuts, gum, hard candies, and related foods.
- Ration the treats and consider having a candy swap.