The Star-Herald

Staying safe for trick-or-treat

The Presque Isle Fire/EMS Department wishes all parents and kids a safe, healthy Halloween. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips to help ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe Halloween.

All dressed up

– Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.

– Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.

– Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly so they don’t slide over eyes. Makeup should be tested ahead of time on a small patch of skin to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises on the big day.

– Choose flame-resistant costumes and accessories.

– If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.

– Do not use decorative contact lenses. Using decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.

– Review with children how to call 9-1-1 if they ever have an emergency or become lost.

Carving a niche

– Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.

– Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.

– Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and not on a porch or any path where visitors may pass close by. They should never be left unattended.

Home safe home

– To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

– Check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.

– Sweep wet leaves or snow from sidewalks and steps.

– Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater or run away.

Trick-or-treating

– A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

– Have flashlights with fresh batteries.

– If older children are going alone, review the route and agree on a specific time when they should return home.

– Only go to homes with a porch light on. Never enter a home or car for a treat.

– Carry a cellphone for communication.

– Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.  If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic. Never cut across yards or use alleys, and never cross between parked cars or out of driveways.

– Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will.

– Notify law enforcement authorities immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

Healthy Halloween

– A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.

– Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Halloween can be tricky for children with food allergies. Parents should closely examine Halloween candy and read the ingredient label to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction. Children should also avoid home-baked items with unknown ingredients.  

Safety tips for motorists
Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.

– Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

– At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.

– Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween.

Be safe.

Fire Chief Darrell White can be reached at 764-2538 or via email at dwhite@presqueisleme.us.

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